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Over $1bn spent annually to import software – NOTAP

Nigeria spends over $1 billion annually to import foreign software, the Managing Director of MainOne Cable Company, Funke Opeke has said, citing the National Office…

Nigeria spends over $1 billion annually to import foreign software, the Managing Director of MainOne Cable Company, Funke Opeke has said, citing the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

Opeke, who delivered a lead paper at the Emerging Technologies and Innovations Forum organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), said many start-ups outsource software development to other parts of the world.

“You only have to do business with multinationals in Nigeria to recognize that a lot of the works that power these companies are fuelled offshore. That implies they make money in Nigeria but do not contribute jobs here,” she said.

She said government can stimulate growth in the tech ecosystem and impact on innovation hubs by providing the necessary infrastructure, power, broadband infrastructure and good road network, among others.

“So, in the maturing digital age, we cannot afford to be consumers and not increase our local content into the value chain, because that will only make us poorer and poorer,” she added.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar G. Danbatta, described the ICT innovation forum as necessary to promote local content with emphasis on the tech ecosystem, identifying unmet needs and facilitate Public Private Partnership (PPP).

He said, “With the growing pressure of globalization, every government as well as captains of industries are charged with the burden of finding ways to ensure that we remain competitive and capable of fulfilling local demand.”

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