The federal government through the National Population Commission (NPC) has signed a landmark deal with Zinox Technologies, an indigenous tech brand, for the supply of technology components and other accessories for the 2023 national census project.
The contract, worth over N85 billion, was recently awarded to Zinox after ratification by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Zinox, which has already commenced supply of the first batch of about 100,000 units of the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) devices required for the nationwide enumeration, emerged the preferred technical partners for the exercise after scaling a rigorous bid process involving other local and international competitors.
According to sources from the presidency and NPC, Zinox stood out in the intense series of background checks conducted to affirm the capacity, experience, integrity and ethical standing of the bidders, with the technology giant also meeting the rating as an indigenous technology powerhouse with global connections which has consistently enjoyed the confidence of leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other tech heavyweights the world over.
This, it was learnt, earned it an endorsement by the federal government for the project.
Zinox, in 2006 and 2010, rescued the nation’s voter registration exercise, when big foreign tech companies contracted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could not deliver as scheduled.
According to a statement from Zinox, the technology company used its Z-Pad smart device to lay the foundation for Nigeria’s digital democracy upon which INEC is building on today. The smooth execution of the over $200m INEC contract in 2010 added impetus to the profile of Zinox as a strong indigenous company with capacity and competence.
Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, said the company had built a system of integrity and a record of excellence, both in Nigeria and internationally. Further, Ekeh noted that until there was a credible data census figure, the country cannot plan well.
Managing Director, Zinox Technologies, Mrs. Kelechi Okonta, said: “It is a privilege for the Federal Government to consider us among many other companies in the world. They know we have the capacity. We are deploying all our resources to make sure it is successful.”
The 2023 census, scheduled to hold between March and April, would be the fifth to be conducted by the Nigerian government since independence in 1960 and it is coming 17 years since the last edition, which was held in 2006 under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“President Buhari, who has not hidden his desire to bequeath to the next administration a useful, reliable and credible databank, which captures Nigeria’s salient socio-economic and demographic information to underpin proper national planning, has thrown his weight behind efforts by the NPC to ensure a successful exercise.
“To this end, Zinox on Friday, February 3, 2023 hosted a high-powered delegation of commissioners and management team of the NPC led by the Chairman, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, where the first 100,00 units of the digital devices were presented to the commission,” the statement said.