The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said that the restriction on the importation of whole-body subscriber identification module (SIM) cards is one of the primary accomplishments of some of the policies it introduced, particularly with regard to the promotion of local content.
According to NCC, the prohibition has not only reduced the need for foreign money (FX) by the sector but has also given Nigerian SIM card manufacturers a local opportunity worth over N55 billion, creating both direct and indirect employment opportunities.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, made this announcement yesterday in Lagos at the ongoing NTICE 2023 expo.
He recalled that the prohibition had been proclaimed at the first expo in 2022.
Danbatta stated: “Nigeria, with its rich history of innovation, resilience, and creativity as well as our diverse culture, talents, and perspectives has birthed solutions that uniquely cater to our challenges and aspirations.”
According to the NCC EVC, who was represented by the Executive Commissioner for Technical Services, Ubale Maska, the Nigerian telecoms industry is one of the major drivers of the nation’s socioeconomic development as seen by the countless accomplishments of the industry.
“It is not out of place to mention that the sector’s performance was instrumental in lifting Nigeria out of recession with a 12.45 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Q4 2020. This figure increased to 14.13 per cent as at Q1 2023.”
“The Sector is also home to two of the most valuable listed companies in Nigeria with a collective market capitalization over N10.45 trillion,” Danbatta said.
The NCC EVC also recalled that in 2021 and 2022, the commission made over $820 million in income through the auction and granting of 3.5GHz spectrum band licenses to three operators to accelerate the rollout of Fifth Generation (5G) services in Nigeria. According to him, Nigeria is now ahead of many nations in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East on the global 5G map.
“It is also important to note that while Quality of Service and Quality of Experience in telecommunications services in Nigeria have continued to improve, tariffs have remained stable notwithstanding the increase in cost-of-service provision to the telecom operators. To sustain and further improve the quality of service and quality of experience in telecommunications services in Nigeria, we must embrace indigenous content and value creation within the telecoms value chain, otherwise, an increase in telecoms tariff will be inevitable.”
“The commission is fully committed to the Federal Government’s drive to place the Nigerian Economy on a sustainable pedestal through all the necessary policies put in place.”
“When we created the Nigeria Office for Development of Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS) as a Special Purpose Vehicle under the commission to drive the National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications sector in July 2021, the Office was given four areas of focus: Manufacturing, Human Capacity, Research and Development (R&D) and Software and Services development for the telecoms sector.”
“Today, I am happy to inform you that NTICE is one of the achievements of NCC through NODITS because it has served not only to promote pillar number five (Strategic Partnering) of the Strategic Management Plan SMP 2020- 2024 of the Commission but has also become the flagship indigenous content event for the industry,” he stated.
He claims that the commission has also provided incentives for the production of corrugated optical duct (COD), which will be utilized to shield our fiber infrastructure from the ongoing cuts that our service providers endure.
According to Danbatta, the Commission is equally dedicated to supporting innovators and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in their efforts to market our bright young people and businesses through angel investments, R&D support, investor exposure, and sponsorship of national and international tech events.
He emphasized further that the NTICE 2023 platform is a celebration of these accomplishments and a monument to the inventiveness of the Nigerian people.
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