©Blackfriars LLP 2009. All rights reserved. This document is for general guidance only. Definitive adviceshould be sought from counsel if required. Blackfriars LLP is a Nigerian law firm with a representativeoffice in Toronto, Canada.
ICT Stakeholders in NigeriaCanvass Local Content Policy inInformation/CommunicationsTechnology SectorMay 2009 Vol. 13: Issue #3
Domestic stakeholders in Nigeria’sInformation and CommunicationsTechnology (ICT) sector are canvassingthe need for the Federal Government toencourage Local Content Initiative andenhance broadband infrastructures inthe country. According to the group, theFederal Government of Nigeria mustadopt the local content policy to drivethe economy. The ICT sector of theeconomy is a key driver. Nigeria has inthe last 10 years made appreciableimpact in the field oftelecommunications with the licensingof digital mobile licence in 2001 totelecoms operators for the provision ofGlobal System for MobileCommunications (GSM) and UnifiedAccess Service license (UASL) in 2006.While the country boasts of over 62million connect lines, not much progresshas been replicated in informationtechnology (IT), especially, hardwareand software. It is opined by the ICTlobby in Nigeria that Nigeria's severeshortage of IT skills and personnelnecessary for taking advantage of newand emerging technologies in theinformation society cannot be remediedunless the government adopts a localcontent policy. There is a severeshortage of IT personnel in Nigeria thata number of the multinationalcompanies look abroad to recruit theirnationals as expatriates. While there has been astronomical growth within mobiletelephony and increasing computerpenetration, software development andcritical broadband connectivity inNigeria are very low.Nigeria does not have the requisite broadband infrastructure that candeliver efficient high-speed internetaccess that is necessary for ICTcompetitiveness in the globalmarketplace. Broadband infrastructureare necessary for affordable internetconnectivity, business processoutsourcing, software development, andIT skills development.The problem is exacerbated by Nigeria’seducational system which is not suitedto produce the required ICT manpower.Indeed, evidence shows that while thereare some efforts to train personnel, littleprogress is being made in ICTapplications such as tele-medicine, tele-agriculture, e-education, e-payments, e- banking, e-government, e-commerceand other tele- and e-systems. In fact,there is little effort to make Nigeria anoutsourcing destination like India