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NCC underscores local content promotion, consumer empowerment for sustainable economy

*Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission, at the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair, restates a robust local content value chain will create economic opportunities, empower consumers, contribute to technological advancement, job creation, and skills development in the country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In line with the current administration’s policy objectives of economic diversification and advancement of home-grown solutions to address diverse development challenges, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has restated its full commitment to local content promotion, empowerment of telecoms consumers, and overall development of the West African country’s economy.

ConsumerConnect reports Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Commission, stated this in his speech delivered on the “NCC Special Day” Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at the ongoing 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair, holding in Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria.

The theme of this year’s event organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) is: “Sustaining Economic Recovery through Deepening Local Content Value Chain”.

The EVC/CEO of the telecoms sector regulatory Commission, represented by Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, observed that the theme of the event is “extremely important”, saying “it resonates deeply with the principles and objectives of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the promotion of local content development in the telecoms industry.”

He also highlighted the vision of the Commission is fundamentally to create a dynamic regulatory environment that ensures universal access to affordable and equitable service and supports Nigeria’s economic growth.

As regards the NCC’s acclaimed principles of regulatory excellence and operational efficiency over the years, Maida also affirmed the Commission has continued to performs its functions to ensure service availability, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability for all categories of consumers, who are leveraging on ICT/Telecoms to drive personal and business activities in the economy.

The NCC Executive Vice-Chairman averred: “The Commission is fully committed to the advancement of local content and the overall development of the Nigerian economy.

“We recognise the importance of deepening the local content value chain as a critical driver for economic sustainability and growth.” The NCC remains dedicated to fostering an enabling environment for telecommunications industry.

NCC’s stance on local content development in telecoms industry

According to him, in this kind of enabling ecosystem in Nigeria, local content and innovation can thrive as this is “one of the most critical thrust of the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy.”

He said: “We cannot overemphasise the fact that robust local content value chain will not only create economic opportunities but also contribute to technological advancement, job creation, and skills development within the country.

“In line with our commitment to supporting local content, the NCC has implemented various initiatives to promote indigenous participation in the telecommunications sector.”

The EVC/CEO as well mentioned the strategic importance of the Nigerian Office for Development of Indigenous Telecommunications Sector (NODITS) as a critical unit in the NCC Digital Economy and Research and Development Departments.

Maida disclosed the latter encourages local manufacturing and assembly of telecommunications equipment, promotes local software development, and supports initiatives aimed at enhancing digital skills and entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths.

The Commission has sponsored a number of Hackathons to encourage and promote Nigerian innovator expanding the frontiers of the Digital Economy.

He also noted that in 2023, three winners emerged in three critical thematic areas of innovations: Blockchain-enabled Data Protection Solutions for Enhancing Regulatory Compliance; Assistive Technology Solutions for the Elderly and People with Disabilities and Technology Solutions for Renewable Energy in Rural Areas.

Prioritising consumer education and protection

The EVC/CEO also asserted the NCC has continued to prioritise consumer education, protection and empowerment, ensuring that consumers have access to high-quality telecommunications services and are well-informed about their rights and responsibilities. “We believe that an empowered consumer base is essential for driving demand and sustaining the growth of the local content value chain.

He, therefore, urged all stakeholders, including telecommunications operators, equipment manufacturers, software developers, and consumers, to embrace the ethos of promoting local content in Nigeria.

Maida added: “By working together, we can create a more vibrant and inclusive telecommunications industry that contributes significantly to the Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth.”

Participants in the 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair this year include company executives, Directors and other officials, local and foreign exhibitors and entrepreneurs, and telecoms consumers.

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