Nigeria Made SIM Cards and Cell Phones Now Available, Says Minister Pantami
Aug. 22 (THEWILL) – The federal government said on Sunday that it had achieved 100% production of subscriber identification module (SIM) cards as well as the manufacture of many components of cell phones used in the country.
The Minister of Communications and the Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, made it known on Sunday during a conversation with reporters.
He said the government was partnering with the private sector for the local production of SIM cards, cell phones, tablets and other ICT facilities.
Pantami said local production was a continuation of the national local content policy signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on promoting indigenous content in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.
He said this was in line with the Nigerian government’s commitment to ensure that Nigerians become active participants in different sectors of the economy.
Pantami said the policy addressed relevant areas including manufacturing, services, people, research and development, thus advancing the nation’s goals.
He said that capacity building of Nigerians would ensure an increased role for Nigerians in the design and manufacture of devices and in meeting manpower needs in the sector.
âThe main policy objective transcends literary translation to more technical translation when the President said that Nigerians must produce what we eat and eat what we produce.
âIn the digital economy sector, we see this statement not only as the literary meaning of agriculture, but extends to other sectors.
âWe produce what we want to consume in Nigeria and manufacture what we need in the ICT sector, the telecommunications sector,â he said.
The minister, however, said the policy had ensured local manufacturing, skills development, sponsorship and mentorship of other Nigerians to acquire the same skills to serve the country.
âAfter initiating the policy to this day, SIM cards are made in Nigeria.
âBefore this administration, SIM cards were imported into the country, but today Nigeria has the capacity to produce SIM cards for the African continent.
âIn Nigeria, we manufacture smartphones, we have obtained an international license and we are partnering with others for the production of smartphones and tablets,â he said.
Pantami said that over the next few months and years, the Industrial Training Fund, together with other private sectors, will manufacture phones that can be exported.
âThe policy is to make sure we make what we sponsor, and sponsor what we make.
“On February 12, the President signed the executive decree on sponsorship of local content in which federal institutions were invited to give priority and preferences to citizens in matters of consultancy work and many others”, did he declare.
The minister said that the production of SIM cards and ICT facilities goes beyond reducing imports, adding that this will increase job creation and bring big products to citizens.
He said the country faces the challenges of unemployment and unemployability “where graduates have certificates of relevance sometimes without basic skills and opportunities.
âWhen ICT items are produced locally, they can acquire the necessary skills. This will end the brain drain as many Nigerians leave the country for other countries.
âIt will help us strengthen the value of our local currency; one of the main challenges for naira today is that we are more of a consumer than a producer nation. Almost everything you need, you find out it’s imported. So that puts so much pressure on our local currency. “