Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Chairman, Nigeria Association of Information Technology Enabled Outsourcing Companies (NAITEOC), Mr. David Onu, has said the country spent an equivalent of $1 billion last year on foreign technologies.
Speaking at the 4th National Outsourcing conference, in Abuja, Onu said, government should compel foreign companies to partner local outsourcing companies in importation of both hardware and software ICT components into the country.
He said: “We did a study last year by NAITEOC and we saw that over $1 billion was spent both by the public and private sectors on foreign technology products.
“If 30 percent of that amount was spent locally you can imagine the number of jobs that would have been created. We hope that we can work in partnership with government to promote the outsourcing business.”
According to him, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa are doing same to promote local content in the ICT sector, adding: “With the right policies and synergy and everybody working together, this can be done through converging discussion to grow the sector.”
In his remark, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Ali Ibrahim, admitted that Nigeria’s economy is facing challenges, adding that efforts by government and the private sectors are geared towards reversing the negative growth.
He said: “It is only apt and imperative for countries to adopt tried, tested and certified efforts such as BPO which require significantly less capital investment, technological requirements and entry barriers that would engender such massive economic and social benefits.”
According to him, India is using BPO to grow its economy using private sector led operation coupled with legislation and Acts of congress to bring about a vibrant outsourcing industry.
He added: “India is today contributing over 3 percent of global outsourcing business and contributing a significant percentage of GDP by 2010.
“Growth of the BPO industry and its contribution in job creation is attributed to leap from 101,000 in 2014 to 930,000 gainful employments recorded in 2015, and an annual income of $25 billion.