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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Omatek begins home production for CANi

Remmy Nweke

FOREMOST local assembler of Personal Computers (PCs), Omatek Computers in collaboration with Intel Corporation, has initiated production plans under the Computers for All Nigerians Initiative (CANi), a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The collaboration is aimed at escalating PC penetration in the country, even as it is expected to create more computer-literate workforce within the nation’s public service and private sectors.

Omatek’s partnership with Intel is to bring actualisation of the federal government’s resolve to abridge the digital divide in the country.

ITRealms Onlinel recollects that at the inauguration of CANi, President Olusegun Obasanjo, used the opportunity to laud local PC manufacturers, especially those who are involved in the project.

According to reports, Omatek Computers was singled out for praise, as he said it “has done Nigeria proud and put Africa onto the map of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) globally.”

This, Obasanjo noted, was evident in Omatek’s emergence of the prestigious 2005 Microsoft Best System Builder award, covering East, Central and West Africa (WECA).

Under this initiative affordable PCs are to be locally produced and distributed to Nigerians for use at reasonable rates through their places of employment, whether in the public or private sector.

CANi is being propelled by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Microsoft Nigeria Limited and Intel, involving stakeholders in the ICT sector and system builders such as Omatek, Zinox, Beta, Brian as well as the Suburban among others.

The initiative’s objective according to its first phase schedule which is in the next two years, is likely to empower not less than 500,000 Nigerians.

For the Managing Director, Omatek, Mrs. Florence Seriki, her firm is hopeful that the project would succeed, therefore with a “glaring and strong relationship between PC penetration and economic well-being of the nation.”

She also said, that the ratio of seven computers to 1,000 Nigerians based on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) survey is disturbing and “as such, embarrassing to say the least.”

Mrs. Seriki noted that a good way of responding to the situation is the creation of a Government-Assisted PC Programme (GAPP) like CANi to offer ICT-related benefits to increased number of the populace.

Stressing that with CANi, an ICT foundation is built and citizens become more technology savvy as well as Nigeria, increasing her productivity and e-readiness competitiveness in the comity of African nations in a few years time.

“For this, we need to be grateful to the federal government for taking this bold step, she said.

Further, she said, Omatek already began production of computers locally under the initiative in conjunction with Intel as a way to drive the prices downward.


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