By Juliet Umeh
As part of the efforts to increase adoption of indigenously assembled devices in Nigeria, the Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria, CCMON, is partnering the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA to improve the quality and standard of local devices.
The Director-General of NITDA Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, during a virtual meeting held between NITDA, and CCMON said the improved quality and synergy will ensure devices meet the minimum requirements of these devices.
Mallam Abdullahi commended CCMON for its partnership with NITDA as a critical stakeholder for Nigerian Content Development in ICT and encouraged them to be competitive in terms of price and to also set their target as the public and not just the government.
He pointed out that the import of the meeting was to find a way forward for Local Content Patronage and to improve in quality and synergy to ensure devices meet the minimum requirements and that OEMs ensure sufficient after-sales-support of these devices.
The DG also directed that a joint committee be created between CCMON and NITDA to ensure all concerns are addressed and a strategic direction agreed. The committee will be chaired by the National Coordinator of the Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC) and will submit its committee report in a month for consideration and action by the Agency
The President of CCMON Engr Adenike Abudu, lamented that comparative patronage of Nigerian OEMs was relatively low and that investments made by Indigenous OEMs was still underutilized, adding that several Government Agencies still did not patronize Indigenous OEMs as required by the Guidelines for Nigerian Content and Executive Orders 003 of the President.
She however, identified gaps in communication between NITDA and association, noting that there is a need to improve communication between NITDA and the association.
She said the purpose of the meeting was to see how they can partner with NITDA to ensure implementation of policies that will help OEMs to thrive, OEMs being in business in turn retains and creates more jobs, she said.
In his response, the National coordinator Office for Nigerian Content (ONC), Barr Kasim Sodangi said that NITDA has been engaging MDAs through the IT project clearance channel and has mandated a lot of purchases of OEMs. He said the challenges are, NITDA cannot be everywhere, but NITDA has insisted that IT procurements should state that preference must be given to indigenous manufacturers, which is the content of Executive order 003.
Responding to issues raised by association on poor sales, the ONC admonished OEMs to do their marketing and promote their products as he mentioned that MDAs buying in trickles has led to the conversation on where do we go on aggregation.
Reacting to what Sodangi said, CCMON explained that the issue of specification is complex because the components of hardware are the same. The only difference is the processor and there over 10 different types of processors. And because of the capacity of the OEMs it is not possible to stock up one type of processors so they work with the requested specifications at every given time.