Local content in Nigeria’s telecom is only 16% – NCC

Bisola David
Bisola David
Active mobile subscriptions fall to 220.71m in August - NCC

Research commissioned by the Nigerian Communications Commission reveals that just 16% of the hardware components used in the country’s telecom industry are produced in Nigeria; the remaining 84% are imported.

The Times reported that according to the Commission’s final assessment on the degree of indigenous content in Nigeria’s telecom, most of the equipment and gadgets utilized in the telecom industry are imported, with little meaningful indigenous technological contribution reported.

According to the paper, Nigeria’s national security is greatly impacted by the predominance of foreign hardware in the telecom sector, necessitating the development of more locally produced telecom equipment.

It was also discovered that the nation has not made enough contributions to the software that runs the telecom sector. Despite the fact that the country has made some impressive advancements in software creation, particularly in the field of payments, this remained the case.

The final report’s conclusions, which were highlighted in the study carried out under the direction of NCC’s Research and Development Department, were as follows:

“According to study results, just 16% of the hardware is produced locally in Nigeria, while up to 84% of it is imported. Base transceiver stations and other essential equipment are typically purchased from manufacturers in other countries.

“The nation’s economy is badly impacted by the excessive reliance on equipment made elsewhere in a variety of ways, most notably because of the commitments to expend scarce foreign exchange to fund the importation.”

The growth of indigenous software in the sector has not been as phenomenal as that of the Nigerian telecommunications sector, which has grown from about 400,000 functional phone lines in 2001 to over 209 million active mobile subscriptions, reaching a teledensity of 110% as of August 2022.

The results of the study demonstrate that foreign software producers currently benefit from a ratio of 77% to 23% local content on software in the Nigerian telecoms industry.

The research claimed that this needs to be repeated in the telecom industry with cutting-edge software created and manufactured locally, such as Remita by SystemSpecs Limited for Treasury Single Account management used by MDAs, which stands out as a success story in Nigeria.

“The study’s results show that Nigerians make up 97% of the workforce in the Nigerian telecoms sector. Even though there are many more employed Nigerians than foreigners, the former are typically mid-level and junior employees in a variety of businesses.

Around 8,000 individuals are employed directly and three million more indirectly by Nigerian telecommunications companies. Although it is simpler to measure direct employment, indirect employment has a more significant and widespread effect.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals could be significantly advanced by enhancing local content in the delivery of goods and services in critical areas of the country’s economy, according to NCC’s assessment.

Additionally, it added that this might boost the local economy, cut project costs, guarantee that the infrastructure is well-maintained, and most importantly, create jobs.

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