Local content office begins operations soon – FG

Punch — The National Content Office being established by the Federal Government to oversee the integration of local content in the nation’s Information and Communications Industry will soon begin full operation.

President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed this in his address at the opening ceremony of e-Nigeria Conference and Exhibition which opened in Abuja on Tuesday.

Jonathan, who was represented at the event by Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said two years after he created the ministry, the ICT industry had started contributing more than 10 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

He said, “Currently, the Office of Nigerian Content Development in the ICT, the vehicle to ensure judicious and sustainable implementation, is close to being fully operational.

“In 2011, I created the Ministry of Communication Technology in recognition of the growing importance of the ICT to national socio-economic development, job and wealth creation.

“Two years later, the ICT sector made a direct contribution of 10.56 per cent to GDP. The ICT also contributed a combined 2.56 per cent of added value to other sectors, thereby validating our emphasis on a more strategic and deliberate focus on the ICT sector.”

The President also said, “A number of policy directives already exist – for instance, government procurement of personal computers, below a certain configuration, must be sourced locally.

“Government also gives preference to meaningful technology transfer partnerships and collaborations between local and international companies, for the deployment of the ICT services in government’s MDAs.

“The success of our local content initiative will depend on the deliberate and market-driven opportunities through which Nigerian ICT products and services can be delivered.”

Speaking at the event, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information Technology, Dr. Ibrahim Gusau, urged the Federal Government to ensure integrated implementation of the ICT projects in the country.

Gusau said it was wrong for different agencies of government to duplicate projects, adding that integrated approach would save the nation the wastage of scarce resources.

The Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mr. Peter Jack, said the ICT holds the greatest promise for achieving the transformation agenda of the present administration because of the enormous potential to drive other sectors as well as for job creation.

The keynote speaker at the event, Mr. Jelani Aliyu, a Nigerian in the Diaspora who works for General Motors in the United States, said Nigeria should not be defined by its present challenges as it has the potential to create products that could make ripples in the global market.


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