CCMON: Continuous Patronage of Foreign PCs Kills Local Capacity, Growth

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Adenike Abudu

The Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria (CCMON) has expressed concerns over continuous patronage of foreign products which it says kills local capacity, growth and development.

The CCMOM further noted non-implementation of the federal government’s local content policies as it relates to its avowed support of local contents in all public procurement as contained in its Executive Order (EO) three and five respectively.

It says the local content policy directs all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to patronise made in Nigeria computers as a priority choice.

Five Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Nigeria certified by Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under the auspices of CCMON in a virtual press conference at the weekend conducted by its President, Mrs. Adenike Abudu, says the government is not effectively monitoring the implementation of its policy directives on local content in public procurement.

The president noted: “Foreign brands of PCs are continuously and publicly being embraced to the detriment of local companies.”

She lamented that the continued flagrant disregard of the presidential EO 3 and EO 5 in preference for foreign brands is stifling and killing local capacity and growth.

According to Abudu, this development may, if not checked immediately, lead to the extinction of the local OEMS with the attendant loss of jobs and capital flight that will otherwise have been retained in the country for growth and development.

Parts of the EO 3 states that made-in-Nigeria products shall be given preference in the procurement of the following items and at least 40 per cent of the procurement expenditure on these items in all MDAs of the FGN shall be locally manufactured goods or local service providers.

“Any document issued by any MDA of the FGN for the solicitation of offers, bids, proposals or quotations for the supply or provision of goods and services (Solicitation Document), in accordance with (1) above, shall expressly indicate the preference to be granted to domestic manufacturers, contractors and service providers and the information required to establish the eligibility of a bid for such preference.”

Despite these clear directives, Abudu, an Engineer, averred that MDAs are even boldly specifying only foreign brands in their invitation for quotes without fear of any regulatory sanctions which though spelt out in the local content policy, are not being implemented by the relevant government agencies saddled with this responsibilities.

Part of the objectives of CCMON includes working with all relevant stakeholders to grow the capacity of Nigeria computer manufacturers so that they can continue to generate increased employment, strengthen the Naira and ensure the growth of our local economy.

“We have pledged to work closely with the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Office for Nigerian Content in Information Technology (ONCT).

It will also work with the Ministry of Communications and the office of the Vice President (VP) that heads the nation’s economic team to ensure that the laudable objectives of the government policies on local content adoption in ICT is properly implemented to the benefit of the country.

CCMON members, she mentioned, have the capacity to manufacture enough quality devices for all MDAs and projects as their recent performance on the N-Power batch A and B device beneficiaries attest to.

Her words: “With the impact of the pandemic leading to large number of people working remotely, Nigerian OEMs in PC manufacturing are ready and have the capacity to meet the increased demand for computing devices.

“Other countries are increasing local capacities and patronage to grow their economies and Nigeria may be left behind in the global competitiveness by over dependency on foreign computer hardware and software.”

Abudu, however, called on the government to work with CCMON and her members to ensure that the policies are judiciously implemented for the realisation of the laudable objectives of both EO 3 and EO 5.