Nigeria - Stakeholders seek clear local content policy in telecom sector
13 January 2017
Stakeholders in the telecommunications sector have frowned at the absence of clear local content policy in the industry which has resulted in massive loss of jobs meant for Nigerians.
They also blamed absence of clear local content policy for poor remuneration of Nigerian workers employed by foreign owned firms servicing telecommunications companies in the wake of outsourcing business model.
According to Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), ‘there is no clear local content policy in the industry. We must address local content issue without which jobs will continue to go off-shores.
“It has also impacted on poor remuneration of Nigerians employed in some of the companies operating in the sector.’ He added.Nodding in agreement, Olusola Teniola, president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said that his association believes that the drive for local content should be the focus in 2017.
“This has become necessary in view of some telecom servicing companies such as Ericsson, among others that have offshored jobs meant for Nigerians to other countries. We need to reverse this trend and create more jobs in the ICT sector.”
This is coming against the backdrop of move by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to collaborate with the Federal Government to stop out-sourcing of jobs in the telecom sector, among others.
Mr. Ayuba Wabba, the NLC President, said: “In this New Year, we shall work with the relevant arms and agencies of government to checkmate and halt the practices of multinational corporations especially in the telecommunication, and oil and gas sectors, who are adding to the economic crisis in the country by their new habit of out-scouring of jobs Nigerians can do to new destinations in Asia, especially Dubai and India.’’
He cited reports that Ericsson Nigeria, local subsidiary of the Global Telecommunication Solution Provider, had disengaged Nigerian staff in its Network Operating Centres and transferred its operation to India.
Deolu Ogunbanjo, president, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMMS) said that outsourcing has messed up local content in telecommunications industry in the country and urged National Assembly to ensure that local content in telecommunications bill is passed into law just as the one in oil and gas.
“It is unfortunate that outsourcing which is designed to bring efficiency in service delivery and employment has turned out to bring poor remuneration and inhuman labour practice. MainOne went to South Africa and were frustrated by local content law in that country. Senate should focus on giving Nigerians local content law that will ensure that outsourcing does not punish Nigeria workers,” he added.