Following the sucsuccessful passage into law, of a bill on the Local Content in the down stream sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry, key stakeholders have continued to call on the concerned authorities to replicate same in the telecoms sector.
This time, by a non governmental, non profit-making organisation
known as ‘Youths Arise for Nigeria’, YAN, who accused foreign telecom
operators of capital flight and other economic sabotages.
YAN said it has become imperative for the Federal government to
replicate the local content policy in the Oil and Gas industry to the
telecommunication sector so as to create employment for teeming Nigerian
youths and generate revenue for the government.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the National Publicity
Secretary of the organisation, Liborous Oshoma noted that the
liberalization of telecom sector has opened a new investment frontier
for the Nigeria government, the business community in the country and
their foreign or technical partners.
According to him, the industry has been of great benefit to both the
users, in terms of communication, and the service providers, in terms of
return on investment, as research has shown that the revenue generated
by the sector alone in 2010 was about $8.6bn which was an increase over
that of 2009, even as the revenue is expected to hit $11bn by 2013.
The group’s spokesman expressed regret that the increase in revenue
generation by the network providers has not impacted on the life of the
average Nigerian, rather, what the country was getting from them is
“Since 10 years of telecommunication operation in Nigeria, none of
the operators can boast of encouraging local industrialization that will
help promote manufacturing and or fabrication of equipments like
towers, equipment shelters, even telephones here in Nigeria. They also
intentionally refused to invest or encourage local industries that are
doing same with the intent of promoting the manufacturing of these
products in their home country.”
Oshoma further stressed that in spite of the success of the Nigerian
companies at providing quality indirect services to the operators
through the middle man arrangement, the operators still intentionally
refused to deal directly with the local engineering companies, because
of their apathy for the development of the Nigeria local content.
The group however, called for a timely intervention from the
concerned authorities to stem the ugly trend in the sector. “A timely
intervention is required to arrest this ugly development before it
degenerate to a situation where the youth who are unemployed will begin
to see every foreigner in Nigeria as a threat to job creation and local
“To this end, we appeal to government to set up a body with a mandate
of enforcing our local content participation and technological
advancement especially in the telecom sector and every aspect of our