To ensure that Nigerian companies and Nigerians participate more meaningfully in one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, Information Communication Technology, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson has said that the import duty regime should favour locally manufactured ICT products to encourage local manufacturing which would stimulate employment opportunities and bring about input of local raw materials.
The Minister who spoke on Monday in PortHarcourt at a local content summit with the theme, Ope-rationalizing a development agenda for local content’ told the gathering that today in the ICT industry, a number of locally manufactured goods have a finishing cost that is higher than the same imported goods because the duties on components and imported raw materials are higher than duty on finished products.
The local content agenda, according to her was not only about promoting Nigerian owned companies or Nigerian enterpreneurs but about ensuring that any company that has chosen to do business in Nigeria and for Nigerians (or export) has the commensurate levels of support, incentives to be successful.
At the event organized by the House of Representatives committee on local content, the Minister disclosed that this scenario clearly makes locally manufactured products of the same or even higher quality quite cost uncompetitive.
While ensuring that the import duty regime creates a more competitive environment for local manufacturers to promote patronage of local devices , she said that Nigeria must where necessary mandate the production of goods that can be competitively produced or assembled in Nigeria “This is incongruous and must be addressed as soon as possible.
According to her, statistics from NOTAP, informed that already in 2012 over N59bn transferred out in purchase and maintenance of software. She said that only 30% of the computers bought by Nigerians in the formal market were locally assembled and none in the gray market were locally assembled.