Computer manufacturers seek faster implementation of content policy
The Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria (CCMON) has called for faster implementation of the Federal Government’s executive order on local content. While appreciating the Government’s effort, the CCMON seeks compliance from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), so as to give preference to made in Nigeria goods.
Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, recently signed an executive order in support of government’s Local Content Initiative. Recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his tenure had mandated government agencies to patronise made in Nigeria IT solutions. But the mandate did not yield the expected results as a result of preference for foreign products and services.
The order, signed by the Vice President makes it mandatory for MDAs to give preference to made in Nigeria goods during public procurements by the Federal Government.
The Local Content Body, through its President, Managing Director of Veda Computers, Bode Pedro, said CCMON is happy that contractors and suppliers would also be required to declare the local content of their products and services during contract bidding.
As the foremost Local Content organisation in the private sector, CCMON applauded the Executive Order as truly exemplary, noting that the Executive Order on public IT procurement has also strengthened the Content regulation of 2013 in ICT, which does not give MDAs any discretion at all.
While the 2013 Regulation states that “All MDAs shall purchase all hardware products locally,” CCMON accused many MDAs, including the Bank of Industry, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which are implementing huge ICT projects of already being in breach of the regulation. This is due to their preference for foreign hardware in spite of the existence of local alternatives.
“It is the view of CCMON that such a preference for foreign products, especially where there are local alternatives, is tantamount to economic sabotage, and should henceforth be viewed as such by the Federal Government,” Pedro said.
As a way forward, the manufacturers recommended that a process for implementing the Local Content Regulation in ICT in a holistic and sustainable manner be instituted.
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