Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ekpiwhre commends Omatek e-Xpress

Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs. Grace Ekpiwhre has commended Omatek e-Xpress, saying it is an initiative capable of boosting IT penetration in the country.

Speaking after a working visit to Omatek factory in Opebi, last weekend, reiterating the essence for all Nigerians to own, at least, a Personal Computer by taking advantage of the Government Assisted Purchase Programme (GAPP) launched by the Federal Government as the Computer for All Nigerian Initiative (CANI), which Omatek is championing through e-Xpress.

She commended Omatek for aligning its existing computer consumer scheme called e-Xpress with CANi.

Champion Infotel recalled that Omatek e-Xpress computer consumer initiative, launched two years before CANI, has realized its own funding of N1.5 Billion each for about 10 states and N500 million each for about 10 universities.

According to her, she was impressed with the effort of Omatek in affording Nigerians to take advantage of this funding arrangement.

She commended the collaborating banks that are currently financing the initiative and called on other financial institutions to emulate them.

More exciting for her, she noted was the seeing first hand a Completely-Knocked-Down (CKD) factory, that is, not different from what she had seen in Asia, stressing that she was happy.

She affirmed that there was vast opportunity for Small and Medium Enterprises to spring up after seeing operating capacity of the Omatek factory, hence she commended the Omatek boss for creating a lot of job opportunity for the Nigerian youths and also for her effort at transferring technology to young Nigerians.

Furthermore, describing CANi as a veritable platform for computer ownership she asked all OEMS to collaborate with CANi now being coordinated by NITDA to make computer acquisition easier for all Nigerians. She called on all stakeholders and professional bodies to come together to move the industry forward.

Welcoming her, the chief executive, Omatek computers, Mrs. Florence Seriki, expressed confidence in the Minister’s ability to move the ICT industry to greater height while calling all to support the minister in her new office.

She was quick to request for the minister to help re-instate the 0% duty and ensure the sustenance of the policy on local patronage that was passed in the last administration. She explained how Omatek now purchases from the same main manufacturers like the foreign brands and the challenges of Large Quantity (MOQ) required from these high profile manufacturers.

She explained how for example Omatek buys an MOQ order of Motherboard of one 20ft container containing 6000 pieces, while a foreign brand would buy over 10 containers at a time from the same manufacturers and end up sending over 70 per cent back to Africa. This, thus creates price challenges and the need for Africans, especially Nigerians and Ghanaians to celebrate their own.

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