• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Minister says NCC must implement executive orders in favour of local content

Pantami assures Nigerians  of digital economy with NCC’s 2020-2024 strategic management plan

Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy, says that it is necessary for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to strictly adhere to the provisions of executive order 003 and 005 as contained in the presidential directives of 1st May 2017 and 12th February 2018 respectively, before awarding any contracts in the telecommunications sector.

In an effort to spur homegrown technology development, the Executive Orders 003 of 2017 and 005 of 2018, were specifically enacted to give impetus to the local content development and promotion drive of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as the telecommunications sub-sector is an important contributor to Nigeria’s economy.

Executive Order 003, which is aimed at supporting local content in public procurement by the federal government of Nigeria, expressly states that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) shall grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers, in their procurement of goods and services.

Executive Order 005 which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in February 2018, however, is even more specifically directed at the sector. The document titled ‘Pand Execution of Projects and Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts of Science, Engineering and Technology,’ directs all MDAs to engage indigenous professionals in the planning , design and execution of national security projects and maximize in-country capacity in all contracts and transactions with Science, Technology and Engineering components.

“In light of this, it is our obligation to entrench the rule of law and ensure as much as possible, National Security Infrastructure and information, is domiciled locally with local companies as a first choice, and indigenous innovation is developed by adhering to the tenets of the executive orders outlined above,” the ministry said in a statement signed by Uwa Suleiman, spokesperson to the minister of communications and digital economy.

Having been notified that local tech manufacturers and developers have been somewhat sidelined when it comes to issuing of government contracts, Pantami has mandated the NCC to review telecoms’ sub-sector activities and give top priority and preference to Nigerian companies, with the requisite skills and qualifications.

The ministry has also informed the telecoms regulator to provide an enabling environment for local capacity to develop through collaborations with foreign companies, in the event that the contract is awarded to a foreign company, where indigenous capacity is lacking; and ensure that patronage of indigenous content, as outlined in the executive orders are complied with, in the sub-sector.

“The minister of communications and digital economy is confident that the leadership of NCC will rise to the occasion and expedite action on this matter a month from the date of issue of this directive,” the ministry said.