The Office for Nigerian Content Development in Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) has called attention to the regrettable loss of over N1trillion due to neglect of local information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The prevalence and preference for foreign ICT products and services is causing Nigeria to lose over N1 trillion in foreign exchange annually, Inye Kemabonta, the National Coordinator of the Office says
Nigerians’ lack of patronage of local content in ICT such as hardware and software has not only adversely affected the local technology industry but the economy at large.
“We are losing close to N1 trillion annually by the import based consumption and this is critical to our survival. Many people have phones, though it may cost just small, but it has the capacity to generate businesses of N2 million because what you do with it can generate far more jobs and wealth than the cost of the phone itself,” Kemabonta told the News Agency of Nigeria.
According to him, when Nigerians pay for any software or hardware that is not produced in Nigeria, the money goes to some foreign government or company, where such product was produced.
For example, all the social media applications have little or no Nigerian content in them, yet Nigeria is one of their biggest markets, he says. “We don’t have our own Nigerian Yahoo and other social media in spite of the fact that we are the most populous country in Africa.”
According to him, local content is the composite value either added to or created in the Nigerian economy through a deliberate utilization of Nigerian human, material and services in the development of ICT.
He urged tech-savvy Nigerians to come up with their own social media applications so as to enhance local content in the ICT sector to boost the nation’s GDP. “We can grow our own social media applications just like we are doing with the Nigeria Internet Registration Association, which is in charge of the .ng internet domain,” he adds.