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NORDIT: NCC restates commitment to promoting local content in telecoms industry

*The Nigerian Communications Commission assures industry players of continued support for participation through the Nigeria Office for Development in Indigenous Telecommunications Sector, as the country now produces 100 percent SIM Cards locally

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has restated its commitment to supporting the indigenous companies in advancing local content in the telecommunications sector of the economy.

ConsumerConnect reports the Commission, in encouraging the participation of local firms, disclosed that 100 percent of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Cards being used in the West African country are manufactured locally.

A SIM Card is a plastic card in a mobile phone that stores a telecoms consumer’s personal information and allows him or her to use the phone.

SIM Cards

Babagana Digima, Head of New Media and Information Security at NCC, who stated this at a training for media executives in Lagos, tagged, “Upskilling Media Stakeholders on Trends in Telecommunications”, attributed the feat to the Commission’s commitment to encouraging local content and indigenous participation.

According to him, the telecoms sector regulatory Commission has continued to encourage the industry players through the Nigeria Office for Development in Indigenous Telecommunications Sector (NORDIT).

“The NCC, by Section 1D to F of our Act, has spelt out our function to encourage indigenous participation of telecoms companies, as well as the national policy for promotion of indigenous content in the Telecommunications Sector which established NORDIT.

“Indigenous participation is one of the key areas NORDIT has played a major role,” Digima stated.

He also explained that “as recent as two years ago, almost 99 percent of SIM Cards used in Nigeria were imported.”

He, however, revealed when NORDIT came along, the NCC made it one of its key low-hanging fruits that in five to six months, SIM Cards would be manufactured locally.

The NCC Head of New Media and Information Security noted: “We directed all the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to source their SIM cards locally. And this has been working since.

“As of now 100, percent of the SIM cards used in Nigeria are manufactured locally, no more importation.”

Digima further disclosed the Commission is currently advocating indigenous participation in all aspects of telecommunications in Nigeria.

NORDIT has provided grants and incentives to some companies to ensure the industry develops in this regard, stated he.

He stated: “We are currently sponsoring the manufacture of Corrugated Ordinal Duct, and the company that will be established will be the first in Africa to manufacture such kind of product.

“We also encourage tower manufacture, fibre manufacture, and have been in touch with Coleman Cables, which are currently manufacturing fibre cables.”

The NCC top official also noted: “They have even overtaken the only company in Egypt in manufacturing capacity and they are expanding.

“I am sure a lot of companies are very happy with what we have done.”

NCC mulls mechanism to deepen telecoms consumer engagement, says Maida

Earlier in his address at the forum, Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, had said the initiative to upskill senior media executives resulted from the need to bridge the gap between the Commission and how it is understood by its various publics.

Dr. Maida, represented at the training by Engr. Abraham Oshadami, Executive Commissioner (Technical Services) at NCC, said the Commission needs to develop a mechanism that would enable consumers and stakeholders understand how things work in the industry.

The EVC/CEO stated: “These have led to the birth of this beautiful initiative. If our industry must succeed, there must be proper enlightenment and education.

“So, your physical role cannot be over-emphasised, and that is why these are carefully selected executives from across all platforms.”

Maida also said: “It is to enable you understand the Commission and see the operational interventions that the Commission has engaged in over the time, as well as our challenges.

“This will enable us work together to shape the landscape, and also help consumers understand what is happening.”

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