Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria , CCMON, has lauded the Federal for the executive order mandating its ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs to give preference to made in Nigeria goods during public procurements by the Federal Government.
The Acting President, Professor Osinbajo, had recently signed an executive order in support of the Local Content Initiative of the Federal Government.
It would be recalled that the former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his tenure had mandated government agencies to patronize made in Nigeria IT solutions. But the mandate did not yield the expected results as a result of preference for foreign products and services.
The order, signed by the Vice President makes it mandatory for MDAs to give preference to made in Nigeria goods during public procurements by the Federal Government.
The Local Content Body, through its President, Bode Pedro, MD of Veda Computers, said that
CCMON was happy that contractors and suppliers would also be required to declare the local content of their products and services during contract bidding.
As the foremost Local Content organization in the private sector, CCMON certainly applauds the Executive Order as truly exemplary, the President of the group noted.
While expressing their delight at the action of the Presidency, CCMON noted that the Executive Order on public IT procurement has also strengthened the Federal Government Local Content regulation of 2013 in ICT which does not give MDAs any discretion at all.
While the 2013 Regulation states that “All MDAs shall purchase all hardware products locally”, CCMON noted that many MDAs such as Bank of Industry and the CBN which are implementing huge ICT projects are already in breach of the 2013 regulation by their preference for foreign hardware in spite of the existence of local alternatives.
“ It is the view of CCMON that such a preference for foreign products, especially where there are local alternatives, is tantamount to economic sabotage, and should henceforth be viewed as such by the Federal Government”, Pedro said.
As a way forward, the Local Content Body has recommended that a process for implementing the Local Content Regulation in ICT in a holistic and sustainable manner be instituted.
An immediate action, according to him, which will give stronger effect to the Regulation and the Executive Order is for the BPP to include, in its list of requirements for prequalification for government tenders, a mandatory clause that all bid candidates must ab initio present a certificate of compliance with the Local Content regulation of 2013.
Such a certificate, akin to the PENCOM requirement, the group believes would be most suitability issued by NITDA as the Information Technology Regulatory Institution in the country.
By Emeka Aginam