ICT: Expert Bemoans Lack of Awareness in Local Content Policy
TECH DIGEST – The Executive Director, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Dr. Yunusa Z. Yau has identified lack of awareness as the major obstacle facing the implementation of Local Content Policy in ICT Sector.
Dr. Yau, who spoke in an interview with TechDigest.Ng, said despite the effort in enforcement of compliance, NITDA needs to intensify awareness campaigns to enlighten stakeholders across the states on the relevance of the local content policy to the growth of the ICT sector.
He urged the federal government to make it mandatory for its institutions and agencies to be in the forefront of using locally produced ICT goods and services, saying that this would encourage citizens to patronize indigenous innovators.
“The government has to lead in the use and consumption of locally produced ICT goods and services. It cannot tell citizens to patronize made in Nigeria ICT products while it (government) is hooked on made-in-China goods. This action of government will give citizens the confidence to embrace made in Nigeria ICT goods and services.’’
To this end, the CITAD boss called on the government to urgently address the endemic poor power supply, low internet connectivity, and other challenges to enable operators in the ICT sector contribute to the digital economy
“You cannot grow the digital economy using generators. Government has to quickly fix the power sector to provide for cheap, affordable and clean energy to run the ICT industry and use.
“We note that the National Broadband Plan is a good document. But a good document that is not backed by diligent implementation is as good as nothing. Government should implement the plan and help to spread the penetration of high speed internet access across the county. The digital economy can only be possible when there is high speed internet.
“Government has to protect industry from dumping that takes place through the importation of second-hand digital equipment and devices. On a monthly basis, thousands of used ICTs equipment and devices are imported into the country. Many of these are near the end of their life cycle and they quickly become eWaste, turning into an environmental problem for the country.
Dr. Yau further urged the government to implement a national digital inclusion agenda to ensure important segments of the society such as women, youths, people living with disabilities, rural dwellers have access to the digital literacy and opportunities.