The Certified Computer Manufactures of Nigeria (CCMON) has commended the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for the signing of an executive order in support of the Local Content Initiative of the federal government.
The order, signed last week, makes it mandatory for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of governments to give preference to made in Nigeria goods during public procurements by the federal government
CCMON expressed joy 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 certainly applauds the executive order as truly exemplary.
While expressing its delight at the action of the federal government, the body notes that the executive order has also strengthened the federal government local content regulation of 2013 in ICT which does not give MDAs any discretion at all.
The 2013 Regulation states that â€œAll MDAs shall purchase all hardware products locallyâ€.
According to CCMON, many MDAs such as Bank of Industry and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which are implementing huge ICT projects are already in breach of the 2013 regulation by 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
The local content body, through its President, Bode Pedro, who is the Managing Director of Veda Computers, recommended that a process for implementing the Local Content Regulation in ICT in a holistic and sustainable manner, be instituted.
An immediate action, according to him, which would give stronger effect to the regulation and the executive order, is for the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to include, in its list of requirements for prequalification for government tenders, a mandatory clause that all bid candidates must first present a certificate of compliance with the local content regulation of 2013. Such a certificate, akin to the PENCOM requirement, would be most suitability issued by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the Information Technology (IT) regulatory institution in the country.