Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s minister for communication technology has revealed that despite the impressive figures available on the nation’s IT sector, Nigeria’s information technology landscape is still battling with a clear negative trade balance.
Speaking at the e-Nigeria conference 2013 held in Abuja, the minister said the economic value generated locally with imported technologies used by Nigerians is still extremely low.
“As impressive as Nigeria’s figures may seem, the Nigerian IT landscape suffers from a clear negative trade balance, as the economic value generated locally with imported technologies used by Nigerians is still extremely low,” Johnson said.
Speaking on the theme of eNigeria 2013 which is “Local Content in ICT Development in Nigeria: The Journey so far”, the minister said the nation has reached a significant milestone in the journey to the target of 50% local content.
She however warned that a lot of work is ahead of the stakeholders in the IT industry using the the guidelines on Nigerian Content Development in ICT.
She said: “These guidelines are expected to level the playing field to facilitate the movement of many of our local ICT companies from the fringes of the market to be larger and more strategic companies while at the same time enlarging the pie so that we keep our valuable international partners interested and engaged in investing in the local industry.
“Having multi-nationals and international companies co-exist with our local companies ensures that the industry is working to the best international standards, challenging our local companies to set aspirational standards for their products and services in order to remain competitive.
“This philosophy is based on empirical evidence that demonstrates that despite the strong growth that we are witnessing today there is still a lot of value that remains to be unlocked in this sector.”