BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

NITDA, CCMON meet on way forward for local content patronage

By Raphael Jov, Abuja

The Director-General of NITDA Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi has called on the Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria (CCMON) to improve in quality and synergy to ensure devices meet the minimum requirements and that OEMs ensure sufficient after-sales-support of these devices.

The DG made this call during a virtual meeting held between National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria (CCMON) to discuss issues affecting the increasing adoption of indigenously assembled devices in Nigeria and possible ways of moving the country’s ICT hardware sub sector of the economy forward through adequate implementation of local content policy.

Mallam Abdullahi in his welcome remarks commended CCMON for its partnership with NITDA as a critical stakeholder for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, he however encouraged them to be competitive in terms of price and to also set their target as the public and not just government.

The DG also directed that a joint committee be created between CCMON and NITDA to ensure all concerns are addressed and a strategic direction agreed.

The committee will be chaired by the National Coordinator of the Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC) and will submit its committee report in a month for consideration and action by the Agency

Earlier, the President of CCMON Engr Adenike Abudu while speaking during the meeting noted that comparative patronage of Nigerian OEMs was relatively low and that investments made by Indigenous OEMs was still underutilized, adding that several Government Agencies still did not patronize Indigenous OEMs as required by the Guidelines for Nigerian Content and Executive Orders 003 of the President.

She however, identified gaps in communication between NITDA and association, noting that there is a need to improve communication between NITDA and the association.

She said the purpose of the meeting was to see how they can partner with NITDA to ensure implementation of policies that will help OEMs to thrive, OEMs being in business in turn retains and creates more jobs, she said.

In his response, Barr Kasim Sodangi, the National coordinator Office for Nigerian Content (ONC), said that NITDA has been engaging MDAs through the IT project clearance channel and has mandated a lot of purchases of OEMs.

He said the challenges are, NITDA cannot be everywhere, but NITDA has insisted that IT procurements should state that preference must be given to indigenous manufacturers, which is the content of Executive order 003.

Responding to issues raised by association on poor sales the NC admonished OEMs to do their marketing and promote their products as he mentioned that MDAs buying in trickles has led to the conversation on where do we go on aggregation.

Reacting to what Sodangi said, CCMON explained that the issue of specification is complex because the components of hardware are the same.

The only difference is the processor and there over 10 different type of processors. And because of the capacity of the OEMs it is not possible to stock up one type of processors so they work with the requested specifications at every given time.

Further discussions were held on the certification requirements of NITDA, quality of devices, stock availability, after-sales-support, the need for a streamlined specification of devices and the need to deepen business development and marketing.

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