In a forum organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta revealed that the organisation was visiting various technology start-ups across the six geopolitical zones in a bid to boost innovative local contents.
It’s no longer news that Nigeria depends mostly on foreign technology for solutions to virtually all ICT related queries. In this regard, the NCC is looking to assess the development and possible challenges of the start-up entrepreneurs in the technology field. Inspired to encourage technology entrepreneurship and innovation in the ICT sector, the organisation hosted an event themed “Developing Nigeria’s Tech Eco-System: Imperative for improving Local Content,” which had in attendance, Mrs Yetunde Akinloye, NCC’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Services.
Danbatta had supported the motion to promote local content, especially with the increasing pressure of globalisation. It’s an unarguable fact that every industry is burdened with a need for ICT solutions and to remain globally competitive. With a global tech upgrade in the internet of things, there is a need to move from a consumer nation to a producing entity. The organisation is working to achieve this with existing tech hubs which do not just stand as a community that share similar values, but one that brings together young talents to foster innovation.
“Finding local solutions to the challenges of the industry is a key policy of the present administration. We acknowledged that the University of Lagos had been one of the forefronts of technology innovation, not only in Lagos State but in the country,” Danbatta said at the forum giving a hint on the necessity to promote local content and give preference to all zones.
He also noted that each company should be willing to explore and promote local tech infrastructure and maintain a competitive position globally. If domestic companies continue to be overly reliant on foreign contents, local content and innovations will die a natural death. Hence, the need to access the growth and challenges faced by entrepreneurs.
Ephraim Nwokonneya, the director, Research & Development, NCC shed more light on the move or agenda to promote local ICT and investment opportunities. He said at the forum that Nigeria’s economy needs to leverage on entrepreneurs’ innovations; this way, the country could talk about creating job opportunities and enhance social and economic development. According to him, tech hubs should not be underrated. Tech hubs are small spaces or incubators where young tech experts solve problems, and the solutions become a part of the economic infrastructure. These tech hubs can, in turn, boost a community’s revenue.
“Responsive government bodies, therefore need to encourage tech hubs to utilise their immense economic importance in reducing unemployment and stimulating innovations, leading to digital inclusion, social and economic development,” he said.