NITDA to monitor compliance by MDAs with local content policy
• NCS commends FG on directive
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) put in place measures to facilitate compliance with the Executive Order on Support for Local Content in IT Procurement, by monitoring compliance among Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
In compliance with the recent Executive Order No 003 “Support for Local Content in Procurement by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Federal Government of Nigeria,” signed by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on May 18th, NITDA has embarked on strengthening its strategy to foster patronage of indigenous IT products and services.
According to the Director-General, NITDA, Dr. Isah Pantanmi, the strategy focuses on two tracks: make Nigerian IT products viable; and promote local content first policy in IT procurement by MDAs.
Pantanmi disclosed that in an effort to make Nigerian IT products viable and competitive, NITDA has invested in: building IT hubs, incubation and acceleration centres in the country; partnering with private IT hubs to identify and accelerate innovative IT solutions.
It has drafted policies and guidelines that will make Nigerian environment conducive for IT business; and building hardware and software testing labs to certify IT products before going to market. It has also empowered the two subsidiaries of the Agency, the Office for Nigerian Content in IT (ONC) and the Office for IT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), to synergise the IT ecosystem as well as develop a vibrant and world class indigenous IT industry Nigeria.
According to Patanmi, this is aimed at mitigating waste and mismanagement of government funds as well as ensuring that procurement of goods and services are in line with the national development goals.
Similarly, the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), has expressed support for the Executive Order, saying: “Over the years, NCS has strongly advocated for the development of local content in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to drive growth, unlock youth potential and create jobs in Nigeria.”
NCS President, Prof. Shola Aderounmu, said the development should stop the wasteful and unsustainable importation and adoption of foreign expertise and solutions.
Aderoumu said Nigerian companies in the ICT sector have proven to be capable of delivering solutions needed in our public and private sectors, noting that deploying domestic products and services expands the local industry, fosters job creation and boosts the economy.
“Using innovation to bring efficiencies and create jobs in virtually all sectors, not just in ICT is critical to the success of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP). EGRP and sustainable development depend on having a vibrant and growing domestic ICT sector. Effective implementation of the Executive Order should therefore be a priority.
“NCS commends this bold and inspiring decision to support local initiatives and views the Executive Order as a welcome enabler. For the tech sector, the consistency is appreciated as the Order builds on the existing Guidelines on Nigerian Content in ICT,” he stressed.