By Ismail Auwal

The Centre for Information and Technology and Development (CITAD) has called on the establishment of  local content bill in Nigeria.

The bill which was for the first meant for the oil and gas sector, is meant to ensure that local players are not completely lost out to foreign firms through competitive bidding because of the strength of the international players, and to serve as a mechanism for technology transfer and to promote the grown of local industry

A Bill to provides legal institutionalizing of the policy is currently in the Senate.  This bill, in addition to incorporating ICT has also added start-ups as potential beneficiaries of the proposed Local content development fund.

CITAD in a stakeholder’s engagement on the bill argued that it will boost the development of ICT in the country.

The Executive Director of CITAD Malam Y.Z Yau, said CITAD has engaged many concerned ICT stakeholders to work on the bill that will provide legal institutionalization of the policy which is currently in the Senate, addition to incorporating ICT that has also added with start-ups as potential beneficiaries of the proposed local content development fund. he added.

Furthermore, CITAD in a document list  the objective of the bill which include “the encouragement of the application of Nigerian Local Content to any transaction in which public fund belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria or any of its arms and/or agencies is used in any sector of the Nigerian economy, in donor or loan funded projects and in activities carried out by any entity in possession of an investment agreement with any arm of the Federal Government of Nigeria or any of its agencies;

(2) the promotion of Nigerian Local Content to transactions in all sectors of the Nigerian economy where regulated activities are carried out especially in the petroleum, solid minerals mining, construction, power, information and communication technology, manufacturing and health sectors of the Nigerian economy;

(3) the giving of preference to goods and services produced in Nigeria so as to encourage the growth of local industries, services and technologies;

(4) the granting of preference to Nigerian citizens, indigenous Nigerian companies in the procurement of goods and services in all sectors of the Nigerian economy;

(5) the prioritization of Nigerian citizens in employment in all activities where public money belonging to any arm or agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria is used, in any sector of the Nigerian economy, in donor or loan funded projects and in activities carried out by any entity in possession of an investment agreement with any arm of the Federal Government of Nigeria or any of its agencies;

(6) the transfer of skills and technology to Nigerians during execution of activities where public funds belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria or any of its arms or agencies are used, in any sector of the Nigerian economy, in donor or loan funded projects and in activities carried out by an entity in possession of an investment agreement;

(8) the maximization of value-addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services, businesses and financing in the value chain of the Nigerian economy and their retention in Nigeria;

(9) the development of the local capacities in the value chain of the Nigerian economy through education, skills transfer and expertise development, transfer of technology and know-how and active research and development programmes;Relevant Sections for the ICT Industry and Startups The four critical sections of the bill.

CITAD added that the Establishment of the local content bill in Nigeria will serve as promoting research and development in order to bridge the knowledge gap in relation to any area in the sector. taxable annual profit of the entity which sum shall be collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and be paid into the Fund, for Research and Development activities of the entity give first Consideration to indigenous Nigerian companies and firms Support in the development and promotion of startup and incubation activities of the participants and incubators also Ensuring, startups and incubators that have quick and seamless access to benefits and incentives provided under any scheme or programmes by the Federal Government of Nigeria where such startup or incubator is qualified for the benefit or incentive Support from the participation of startups in local and international events including but not limited to international competitions and conferences.

Moreover, capable of providing opportunities for startups and incubators to be linked up to potential investors, mentors, collaborators, and customers

CITAD added that, Nigerian Local Content Startup Seed Fund source for funds to assist joint venture programmes by indigenous Nigerian companies, collaborating to produce import substitution ICT products Original Equipment Manufacturers of ICT hardware shall assemble such hardware in Nigeria and maintain fully.

CITAD stated that, Nigerian staffed facilities for that purpose and providing maintenance and other ancillary services Telecommunication and network service companies will host all subscribers and consumer data in Establishment of e- market place Produced.

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