NTICE 2023: Another Look At Danbatta’s Call To Embrace Indigenous Content

By Bukola Kayode

The 2023 edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications Indigenous Content EXPO (NTICE) has come and gone.

As expected stakeholders used the platform to brainstorm on indigenous contents development, bridging the skill gaps in the telecoms sector and other important issues.  

Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta in his welcome address advocated for continued investment and promotion of indigenous content within the telecoms value chain to prevent an increase in telecoms tariff.

NTICE 2023 has as its theme: “Harnessing Indigenous Content for Economic Growth; Networking to boost

Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)

Danbatta’s advocacy was one of the highpoints of his welcome address at the event held in Lagos, the telecoms and ICT hub of Nigeria.

NCC’s CEO, who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr. Ubale Maska, reminded the audience about the importance of the telecoms sector, the need to sustain its growth and contribution to the country’s push for accelerated development and economic growth.

He said: ” Without any doubt, the Nigerian Telecoms Sector is amongst the biggest
contributors to socio-economic growth of the country, as evidenced by the
numerous achievements of the sector. It is not out of place to mention that the
sector’s performance was instrumental to lifting Nigeria out of recession with
12.45% contribution to the GDP in Q4 2020. This figure increased to 14.13%
as at Q1 2023.

“The Sector is also home to two (2) of the most valuable listed companies in
Nigeria with a collective market capitalization in excess of N10.45 trillion.
Recall also that the Commission in 2021 and 2022, generated revenue in excess
of USD$820m from the auction and grant of 3.5GHz Spectrum band licences
to three operators to boost the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services
in Nigeria. This placed Nigeria on the global 5G map ahead of many countries
in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It is also important to note that while
Quality of Service and Quality of Experience in telecommunications services in

“Nigeria have continued to improve, tariffs have remained stable
notwithstanding the increase in cost-of-service provision to the telecom
operators. In order to sustain and further improve Quality of Service and
Quality of Experience in telecommunications services in Nigeria, we must
embrace indigenous content and value creation within the telecoms value chain,
otherwise, increase in telecoms tariff will be inevitable”.

Danbatta reiterated the commitment of the NCC to develop and implement effective policies which will ensure that the telecom sector continues to contribute to economic growth.

He also listed the steps taken so far by the NCC, including the successful hosting of NTICE.

He said: “The Commission is fully committed to the drive of the Federal Government to
place the Nigerian economy on a sustainable pedestal through all the necessary
policies put in place. When we created the Nigeria Office for Development of
Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS) as a Special Purpose Vehicle under the
Commission to drive the National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content
in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector in July 2021, the office was given
four areas of focus: Manufacturing, Human Capacity, Research & Development
(R&D) and Software & Services development for the telecoms sector.

“Today, I am happy to inform you that NTICE is one of the achievements of
NCC through NODITS because it has served not only to promote Pillar
number 5 (Strategic Partnering) of the Strategic Management Plan SMP 2020-
2024 of the Commission but has also become the flagship indigenous content
event for the industry.

“The Commission has also incentivized the manufacturing of Corrugated
Optical Duct (COD) that will be used to protect our fibre infrastructure from
the incessant cuts experienced by our service providers. The Commission is
equally committed to continuously supporting Micro, Small and Medium
Enterprises (MSMEs) and Innovators to promote our talented young persons
and ventures though Angel Investments, R&D support, exposure to Investors
and sponsorship to local and international tech events”.

Speaking on tough decision taken by the NCC as a regulatory agency, Danbatta added, “Another key achievement of our policies is the ban on importation of wholebody SIM cards which was announced at the maiden NTICE event last year. This ban has not only eased the burden on our demand for foreign exchange but has also created business in excess of N55bn for the local SIM card
manufacturers in Nigeria which in turn has created direct and indirect jobs”.

He predicted that local industry players have what it takes to sustain policies rigorously implemented by NCC. “Nigeria with its rich history of innovation, resilience, and creativity as well as
our diverse culture, talents, and perspectives has birthed solutions that uniquely
cater for our challenges and aspirations. The NTICE 2023 platform is a
celebration of these achievements, a testament to the Nigerian spirit of

On his speech, Team Lead NODITS Nigerian Communications Commission, Engr. Babagana Digima emphasised the usefulness of NTICE, while calling on stakeholders to see the annual gathering as an opportunity to share ideas and evaluate the progress made.

He said: “In an era where connectivity is the backbone of progress, where the digital realm intertwines with every facet of our lives, our nation’s telecom industry stands as a beacon of advancement. It is not just about communication, but about empowerment, education, healthcare, commerce, and beyond. As we gather here today, we recognize that the key to unlocking the immense potential lies in our ability to harness the wealth of indigenous content, to leverage our unique perspectives and talents, and to channel them towards the greater good.

“This expo is not just a congregation of like-minded individuals; it’s a nexus of innovation and creativity. It’s a platform where ideas are exchanged, partnerships are forged, and collaborations are born. It’s a space where the synergy of diverse minds transforms into actionable strategies that will propel us towards new horizons of economic growth and sustainable development”.

“Over the course of this event, we will delve deep into discussions that transcend conventional boundaries. We will explore how indigenous content can be a catalyst for economic growth, how networking can foster investment, and how the intersection of technology and culture can lead us to the forefront of global innovation.

“I encourage each one of you to actively engage, share your insights, and absorb the wisdom that permeates these halls. The connections you make, the conversations you have, and the ideas you generate during this expo could very well be the seeds of transformation that Nigeria’s telecom industry needs to flourish”, Digima further said.

The Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 empowers the NCC to encourage local and foreign investments in the Nigerian communications industry, introduce innovative services and practices as well as promote the participation of Nigerians in the ownership, control and management of communications companies and development of communications manufacturing and supply sectors.

Therefore, NTICE 2023 was organised in keeping with the extant provisions of the NCA 2003, and to promote the four focus areas of the NPPIC, which are Manufacturing, Service, People as well as Research and Development for innovation in line with the Federal Government’s drive to diversify the economy.


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