The Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria (CCMON), has rejected move by the National Population Commission (NPC) to use only foreign IT devices for the execution of the 2023 National population census project.
CCMON, in a statement on Wednesday by Engr. Adenike Abudu, its president and Tosin Ilesanmi, its secretary general, argued that the plan by NPC to acquire 800,000 foreign devices for the census exercise is an affront to the federal government’s widely lauded local content policy, and a blatant disobedience of the Presidential Executive Orders 3 and 5 that mandates all MDAs to utilize at least 40% local content in all projects.
The computer manufacturers recalled that at a meeting held on August 16, 2022 between them, the officials of the NPC and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on the need to adhere to the president’s executive orders, both NITDA and NPC assured them of their intension to strictly adhere to the government’s local content policies.
CCMON, however noted that failure to get feedback on August 18 as agreed during the meeting, prompted it president to write a letter to NITDA reminding it of federal government’s desire to grow the ICT sub sector to provide jobs for the skilled but unemployed youth population in the country.
Reminding NITDA that it has a mandate to ensure that in the development and acquisition of ICT components in country, there is adherence to the Local Content Policy, the organization called on President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the plan by the NPC to use only foreign IT devices for the execution of the census project.
“CCMON is crying out over this unwholesome plan by NPC and humbly requests the president to put a halt to this violation of his orders and cause NPC to follow strictly his executive orders,” the statement said.
“There are NITDA certified local devices manufacturers who also have ISO 9001:2015 quality standards certification and performed excellently well in previous government projects including N-Power project managed by the Bank of Industry (BOI).”
The organization added that its members are confident that NITDA will guide the NPC appropriately in line with its mandate, the local content act and the presidential executive orders, to ensure that the project is not executed in violation of local content development.
“The posture and antics of NPC is unacceptable as it negates the Local Content Policy, the interest of young unemployed Nigerians and directed at encouraging capital flight,” the statement added.
“CCMOM believes that this is an attempt by NPC to sabotage the credible efforts of the federal government in the ICT sub sector of our economy and deprive Nigerians of viable means of livelihood.”
The organization advised the federal executive council (FEC), the Bureau of public procurement (BPP) and NPC to prioritize national interest by engaging NITDA certified indigenous OEM’s.