Draft Communiqué of eNigeria 2013 Summit and Exhibition held from 3rd to 5th December 2013 at Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Centre, Abuja, Nigeria
The e-Nigeria 2013 Summit and Exhibition organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) took place at the Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Centre, Abuja from Tuesday, 3rd – Thursday, 5th December, 2013. The theme of the conference was “Local Content in ICT Development in Nigeria: The Journey So Far”.
2. The Objectives were to:
i. Evaluate progress and success of the buy “Made in Nigeria IT Products and Services” campaign;
ii. Develop requisite framework for global competitiveness of indigenous IT products and services;
iii. Develop framework for providing critical employment through outsourcing and other digital opportunity windows;
iv. Examine funding options and factors militating against IT local content development in the country;
v. Develop strategies for leveraging on technology transfer and Nigerians in diaspora for developing the ICT industry in the country.
3. Opening Session:
Dignitaries at the opening ceremony were Arc Namadi Sambo, GCON, The Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs Omobola Johnson, the honourable Minister of Communication Technology, Prof Iya Abubakar who chaired the opening ceremony and Prof Pat Utomi who was the keynote speaker. Others included Hon. Dr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, Chairman, House Committee on Information and Communication Technology, Former Minister of petroleum, Dr Don Etiebet, Dr Tosin Ajayi, Chairman NITDA Governing Board, Dr A. S. Daura Acting DG-NITDA and other members of the Board and Presidents of ICT Professional bodies such as NCS, CPN, ISPON and ITAN amongst others. The minister in her welcome address formally presented the Guidelines on Nigerian ICT Local Content Development as the rulebook for local content. The Summit and Exhibition was declared open by Arc Namadi Sambo, The Vice President Federal Republic of Nigeria.
About 420 delegates who participated at the conference were drawn from across the Public and Private Sectors, Civil Society Groups, Students, the Academia and the Media. The speakers were experts drawn from various fields of Information Communications Technology (ICT) and beyond. There were Five Plenary sessions with a total number of 16 papers delivered.
Following discussions at the Summit, Participants noted
i. The poor state of local content in Nigeria’s ICT Infrastructure and Services.
ii. The effort of NITDA at developing the ICT Local Content Guidelines and a National Software Policy as part of Nigeria’s ICT development strategy
iii. The need for government in the promotion of local production and consumption of ICT products and services
iv. The Need for collaboration amongst government agencies in the ICT sector and partnership amongst government industry associations, private sector and the civil society.
v. The imperative of local content option as a critical tool for the creation of massive jobs, improving national productivity and motivating overall national development.
vi. That ICT in Nigeria cannot thrive without the involvement of other sectors of the economy such as Education, Health, Finance, Agriculture, Security, etc
vii. That Human Capacity development in local content is key to producing experts that would drive the industry through education, training and re-training programmes.
viii. The underutilisation of Nigeria’s communication satellite infrastructure provided by Nigcomsat which could save the nation annual capital flight of about $450 million US Dollars incurred from bandwidth purchase from abroad
ix. The absence of adequate legal framework that compels local and foreign investors, including banks to patronise indigenous ICT products, as well as train local staff on ICT to inculcate appropriate knowledge transfer
x. There are various uncoordinated ICT initiatives at the state and local government levels
xi. Lack of appropriate strategy to properly harness the potentials and capacity of Nigerian young innovators in ICT especially at the tertiary institutions
After extensive discussions, the following recommendations were made:
i. Full implementation of NITDA’s Guidelines on Nigerian ICT local content development and the National Software Policy for the growth of the sector.
ii. Government must as a matter of urgency take leadership in patronizing Made in Nigeria ICT products to inspire indigenous enterprise and create institutional support for enterprise development.
iii. Develop an integrated framework that would mobilise Nigeria’ s ICT ecosystem towards national development.
iv. NITDA to provide leadership by mobilising both the public and the private sectors, including the civil society toward realising the objectives and targets of the local content national strategy.
v. Retooling of Nigerian Universities and all other educational institutions on ICT, through the establishment of ICT research centres and software laboratories, e-libraries, training and re-training of experts for sustainable capacity building.
vi. Government to intervene through pragmatic fiscal policies that grant tax waivers, protection of intellectual property, and preference for locally made ICT products as no country develops through over reliance on foreign goods.
vii. Massive campaign to encourage indigenous production of ICT products such as Software and hardware as well as delivery of talent based services as strategy for building strong digital economy for the country.
viii. Practical engagement to cultivate the full and top leadership support of government officials to engage in local campaigns for made in Nigeria ICT brands as unavoidable tool for capacity building, job and wealth creations.
ix. The communication satellite as space-based wireless systems infrastructure should remain within the framework of Nigeria’s ICT policy and broadband implementation to complement the inadequate terrestrial infrastructure in Nigeria.
x. Adoption of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) strategy to finance and commercialise the indigenous products of Nigerian young innovators
xi. Governments at all levels must intervene by providing incentives to local Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) through tax rebates, lower bank interest rates and vat exemptions in order to encourage them to begin to manufacture more of components of their computer hardware locally to create jobs and stimulate wealth.
xii. NITDA should expand the scope of participants to the annual summit for effective mobilisation of the entire stakeholders, who are critical to the implementation and realisation of Nigeria’s ICT objectives.
xiii. NITDA should develop a measurable index for assessing ICT initiatives at the state levels and initiate award scheme to encourage competition among the states of the federation
xiv. Development of a legal framework and application of punitive measures against defaulters through imposition of high tax charges, the proceeds of which could be deployed in developing Nigeria’s local content on ICT
xv. Considering the huge market in Nigeria for ICT products, the summit called on Nigerian billionaires to invest in the Nigerian Local content on ICT as a critical tool for not only wealth generation but massive creation of jobs for women and youths
xvi. To prevent spoofing and destruction of Nigeria’s biometric profiles by criminal elements in the society, participants backed the use of local content to train and engage ethical and certified hackers to protect the biometric systems from vandalism
xvii. Government should encourage innovators and producers of indigenous ICT products to engage more in local content that provides local solutions for solving the peculiar needs of Nigerians
xviii. There should be effective media involvement both in the formulation and implementation of the policies that not only accelerate but monitor achievements and challenges within the sector.
xix. That Nigerians should be re-orientated to believe in themselves and appreciate “Made in Nigeria” ICT Products through patronage of locally made software as a catalyst for sustainable market and wealth creation.
xx. Collaborate with the academia by funding their research initiatives and encourage their commercialisation when required.
xxi. To provide financial access to ICT investors, participants called for the establishment of a specialised bank on ICT, and advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to initiate a development finance scheme for ICT development as it has done for the agricultural sector.
xxii. That professional bodies should establish an industry-academia platform that defines and pursues their common purpose in ICT, especially in the area of access to funding and advancement.
xxiii. That NITDA should organise a young innovators conference and awards to inspire confidence and reward young innovators
xxiv. ICT services should be domesticated in Nigeria in order to encourage our local capacity
Mrs Omobola Johnson Dr. A.S. Daura
Hon Minister of Communication Technology Ag. DG, NITDA
December 5 2013
Download the eNigeria 2013 Communique