Tech Trends (Channels TV)

Nigerians Need To Take Advantage Of Local Content Laws; DeRemi Atanda

Nigeria is a country faced with a myriad of problems, some that looks impossible to resolve. What roles, however, can technology play in the resolution of some of these National problems?

I was with DeRemi Atanda, Executive Director, SystemSpecs and we discussed a number of National issues, and what roles technology can play in solving them on Tech Trends on Channels Television.

CFA: DeRemi, glad to have you on the show today.

DeRemi: Thank you, nice to see you again.

CFA: Haven spent close to three decades in the IT industry, how has the industry evolved and what would you like to see?

DeRemi: We’ve done very well, for ourselves. The industry is maturing and is self-evolving and you can attest to that by the nature of companies and Startups that you’re seeing on the landscape, which didn’t used to be, before now.

The only bit of it is that, it is all been largely, private sector-driven.

Talking about the dimension of our success, it would have been nicer, if government had been at the forefront of promoting this, more on the platform of National policy.

Everything, put together, you are able to hear of more Nigerians doing spectacular feats in the IT space, more of Nigerian companies attracting interests from global entities, more of Nigerian solutions adopted beyond our own borders.

Everything, put together, I think we’ve done well, but we still have huge potentials to do much better.

CFA: DeRemi, there are a number of broad National issues that I will like us to talk about, starting with the ICT Local Content Law. How are Nigerians taking advantage of that law?

DeRemi: Well, I think that, if I’m also going to speak to that, it is within the environment of policies in Nigeria that, we seem to have, so many policies that are well intentioned, but probably, not being optimized and in this instance, it’s not, even, has to do with Nigerians, taking advantage of opportunities that have been provided for them.

That law, by the way, had been in operations, since 2010 and it clearly spells out the opportunities for Nigerians.

The deepening of goods, services and human involvement in the Oil and Gas industry, but it does not look like we are making the best of it yet.

That is within the purview of the Nigerian Content Development Management Board, NCDMB that, I’m aware, has put in place, a National Content Consultative Forum, NCCF, that encourages local players.

By local players, the Act is very clear. Any organisation in Nigeria, with 51% controlling interest by Nigerians, is regarded as a Nigerian company and they are supposed to e given certain privileges.

At the back of that, is, also, the Nigerian Content Development Fund, which makes funds available to Nigerian companies in the Oil and Gas sector, to be able to do business in there.

If you look at the ICT components, it clearly states how much each organization in the Oil and gas industry, is supposed to commit to Local Content spent on Nigerian companies.

That presents a lot of opportunities and I think that, is something we really need to look at, more closely.

You can watch the full interview here