The Group Managing Director of a technology firm, VDT Communications, Engr. Biodun Omoniyi, has stressed the need for the federal government to deliberately design policies to grow indigenous investments that could boost the economy.
Omoniyi, who spoke at an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the company, noted that businesses thrive on challenges but stressed that more needed to be done by governments to boost local businesses.
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“Government must design intentional policies that will protect smaller businesses in Nigeria to enable them to thrive,” he said.
He said the difficulty in gaining access to foreign exchange (forex) and multiple taxes, among others, affect the operations of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Thus, it is difficult for operators to buy or replace damaged equipment, especially as operators import communication equipment and need forex.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the naira has lost its value the most and it is telling on importation of communication equipment because forex has gone so high and access to it is a nightmare.
“Before COVID-19, the value of naira was N360 to $1, but today it has jumped to over N500 to $1, which is now eating deep into our revenue.”
He said the government should protect and promote indigenous manufacturers of communication equipment, cut equipment importation and create easier windows for operators to access forex.
The firm has 143 Points of Presence (POPs) in all states and the FCT, providing broadband internet services, among others.