The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has urged the Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS) on the need to ensure effective delivery of its mandates with respect to the promotion of indigenous contents in the nation’s telecoms sector.
Danbatta made this call in a keynote address delivered at a two-day brainstorming and team-building session organised by NODITS team, which started in Abuja on Thursday, November 25, 2021. The EVC said the Office is very critical to effective mainstreaming of local content development in the nation’s burgeoning telecoms sector.
NODITS is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) designed to stimulate the creation and development of top quality indigenous content in the telecommunication sector. The creation of the NODITS on July 5, 2021 and its domiciliary in the Commission was sequel to the signing of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Telecommunication Sector (NPPIC) by the President in March, 2021.
Represented at the event by the Director, Human Capital and Administration, NCC, Usman Malah, Danbatta said the development of NPPIC, facilitated by the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, is essentially aimed at driving the desire of the current administration and the NCC to ensure that indigenes become more active participants in Nigeria’s telecoms sector.
Speaking on Management’s expectations from NODITS, the EVC said, as an SPV under the purview of the Commission, NODITS would be expected to get involved in development of new guidelines and regulations bordering on indigenous content, local manufacturing of telecom equipment, outsourcing services, construction and lease of telecoms ducts, succession planning in the telecoms sector, among others.
He also implored the NODITS team to adhere to regulatory and ethical principles held in high esteem by the Management of NCC. “The Commission’s commitment to maintaining high standards, ethical conduct, and superior performance is a priority of the Management, hence by extension, NODITS should reflect the established values, guiding principles, strategic awareness and the goodwill associated with the NCC,” he said.
Besides, the EVC said NODITS would be involved in working with various stakeholders towards reducing capital flight, as local manufacturers would be encouraged to participate in the design and manufacturing of devices. This vision will also ensure that manpower requirements towards making indigenes active participants in the Nigeria’s telecoms development are met.
“In essence, NODITS will be expected to initiate strategic programmes and projects that will stimulate the growth of the telecoms sector through an approach that is visionary, focused, sustainable and based on incentives to indigenous telecom stakeholders” EVC said added.
The EVC rounded off by congratulating the pioneer team of the new Office. He pointed out that they were carefully selected by NCC Management based on their background, dedication, integrity. He urged the team to work harmoniously within the Office and with other relevant stakeholders to fast-track seamless delivery of its mandates, as clearly spelt out in the NPPIC.
In his remarks, the Team Lead, NODITS, Babagana Digima, spoke about the mission and vision of NODITS, as he made his presentation on the progress so far recorded by the team in five months of its existence. He said while the Mission of NODITS is “to deliver on the objectives of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the telecom industry and the Executive Orders 003 & 005,” its vision is “to harmoniously integrate indigenous content in the Nigerian telecoms sector.”
The Executive Order 003 mandates all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to always grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers for procurement; while the Executive Order 005 seeks the promotion of Nigerian content in contracts bordering on science, engineering and technology.
Digima itemised some of the activities being carried out by NODITS within the last five months of its creation. This include visiting the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); visitations to various Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) manufacturers; engagements with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs); ongoing training of 60 young entrepreneurs, and developing industry relevant proposals for incentivising Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies by the Federal Government, among others.
In addition, Digima said NODITS has, so far, identified partners it would be collaborating with towards achieving its mandates. They include the NCC, NITDA, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Nigerian Contents Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC).
Others are the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Nigerian Exports Zones Processing Authority (NEZPA), Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), and Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASC).
Digima called on his team at NODITS to work with dedication and purpose towards building a telecoms sector where ingenious players are actively participating in creating values for the overall development of the digital economy. “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. I want us to build a strong and resilient Office that will be fit-for-purpose, withstand the test of time and which the telecom industry will look back at and appreciate like the great pyramids of Egypt. All of us will be the designers, thinkers, architects, and builders in this great NODITS journey,” he added.