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PIAFo Intensifies Indigenous Content Promotion in Telecoms Sector

As Over $2.16 Billion Forex Spending by Operators Bites; Pantami, Danbatta, Abdullahi to Lead PIAFo Dialogue

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Organisers of Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo) have dedicated the forthcoming third edition of the forum to promotion of indigenous content in the telecoms sector to save the economy massive capital and labour flights.

The event, powered by Business Metrics Nigeria, with the theme: ‘Establishing Trackable Metrics for Developing Nigeria’s Indigenous Telecoms Sector’, is slated for Thursday, July 28th, 2022 at Radisson BLU Hotel, Isaac John, GRA, Ikeja Lagos.

The forum seeks to facilitate the successful implementation of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector that was released last year.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, is expected to chair the event while Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), would deliver the keynote address.

Other agencies such as National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) are also billed to champion discourse alongside captains of industry.

Omobayo Azeez, Managing Editor at Business Metrics and Lead Executive at PIAFo said that annual outflow of foreign exchange for the telecommunications sector amounts to approximately $2.16 billion, according to the leadership of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

A breakdown of the forex spending includes $750 million on CAPEX programs; $250 million on Network software licensing; $800 million spent as management fees; a circa $157 million on managed services for Tier 2 & 3 Support and another $200 million dollars escapes the country as miscellaneous.

“To develop a telecommunications sector where innovative indigenous solutions will create value and prosperity, the need for periodical engagements by relevant stakeholders within and outside the sector is imperative.

“Nigeria Communications Commission is our principal partner on this edition of the forum, and the conference shall serve as an avenue for stakeholders to make valuable contributions that would later be used as inputs for establishing measurable metrics for developing the telecoms sector going forward,” Azeez said

He further stated that domestication of indigenous content policy in every sector is an effective way to liberate the Nigerian economy and flip it from a consuming nation to a producing one with robust internal economic strength that can absorb external shock waves.

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“With the coming of the fifth-generation technology (5G) and other emerging technologies, there is no doubt that the estimated $2.16 billion annual forex spending as at two years ago will more than double in the next two years unless we are able to advance collaborative efforts to drive the indigenous content policy to fruition. This is the purpose of PIAFo and with the forthcoming edition, we are committed to the course,” he added.

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