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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Govt, private sector drive ICT with CANi

Remmy Nweke

IN the bid to farther penetration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), federal government in collaboration with proven firms Organised Private Sector (OPS), is driving the Computer for All Nigerians Initiative (CANi).

Some of the industry collaborators on CANi include Omatek, Zinox, Beta, Brian, IBM, Hewlett Packard (HP), Microsoft and Intel, Netcomm and Suburban, to name a few.

According to the Programme Director, Project Management Office (PMO), an independent body that oversees the administration of CANi, Mr. Soji Romeo, the initiative is to provide affordable technology to meet the unique needs of Nigerians especially at the home computer market front.

CANi, he explained, means that PCs for home use will be available to people in paid employment in the public or private sector for installments starting from less than N5,000 per month with an estimated Total Cost of Ownership placed at about N50,000.

Payments, he said, could be structured over 24 months at reduced interest rates through employers and participating financial institutions.

Additionally, he said, PMO, would work towards developing the local computer hardware and software economy, so as to improve the computer literacy level of citizens.

“Thus, stimulating the use of technology in our lives,” he declared.

He further explained that there are different categories of Personal Computers (PCs) and laptops available under CANi, including an entry-level model which will run Microsoft’s Windows XP Starter edition, a version of the Windows operating system designed for first-time PC users released in Nigeria earlier this year.

These PCs, he noted, are based on Intel processors and are assembled locally by Zinox, Omatek, Brian, Beta, HP and IBM Computers.

Eligibility therefore, is based on usage of Microsoft Office and other applications, enabling them to get up, running and productive with the minimum effort.

Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof Cleopas Angaye, said “CANi underscores the commitment of this administration to the empowerment of the Nigerian workers by making affordable and quality computers available to them at all times.”

Stressing, “Such deliberate effort will go a long way towards driving the reform programme of the government. It is also our conviction that any nation which fails to provide its citizens with adequate information communication technology tools will remain backward in these highly-competitive times.”

Some financial institutions partnering on the CANi initiative, includes Fidelity, Skye Bank and UBA, to name a few.

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