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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FG says non-patronage of local OEMs is economic sabotage

The Federal Government has said that non-patronage of accredited local Original Equipment Manufacturers in the country by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) is economic sabotage.

It also said that violators of this directive are liable to imprisonment and fine or both.

Sounding this note of warning at the opening session of a two-day retreat for the National Technical Committee (NTC) on Development of Standards for Information Technology Hardware in Lagos on Tuesday, through the office of Director-General, National IT Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye, FG said that after the retreat and issuance of the guidelines it would be regarded as economic sabotage if MDAs do not patronize Nigeria IT products.

“Indeed the act will be an offence punishable by a prison term and fine under the NITDA Act,” he declared.

Angaye who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Standards pointed out that public procurement of non made-in-Nigeria computers and related IT products where the certified local brands exist is condemnable.

According to him, public funds should only be expended on locally manufactured products, stressing that in order to benefit from this policy; multinationals are invited to set up production or assembly plants in Nigeria.

“With more than half the population of West Africa, Nigeria has a large market to justify foreign direct investment in IT,” he said.

NITDA boss also insisted that display and use of non made-in-Nigeria computers in government offices and for government businesses where certified local brands are available is unpatriotic and act of sabotage.

A monitoring unit, he said, has been created within NITDA to undertake regular checks to ensure that this regulation is complied with throughout the Federal Public Service.

Additionally, he disclosed that by the time the new guideline would be issued, the use of non made-in-Nigeria computers in public schools nationwide, would be seen as anti-local OEMs, maintaining that accreditation of schools and renewal will depend partly on the establishment of IT labs equipped with locally manufactured IT products.

He recalls that NTC is a broad-based, stakeholder organ in IT governance established by NITDA, which was inaugurated last November by the Hon. Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson.

Members of NTC, he said, include 11 institutional members are the foundation members. They include: Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Ministry of Communications Technology, NCC, Galaxy Backbone plc, CPN, NCS, ISPON, ITAN, CAPDAN, NIG, ISPAN among others.

Remmy Nweke & Yinka Awosanya

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