Operators in the telecommunication industry, under the aegis of Association of Telecommunications Professionals of Nigeria (ATPN), have called on the Federal Government to ensure the speedy implementation of the local content order on ICT equipment by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), to boost the industry.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed Executive Order Five to improve local content in public procurement of science, engineering and technology components.
Chairman of the ATPN, Mr. Adede Williams, made this call in Abuja recently, noting that the executive order is expected to promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy.
He said that the Federal Government should enforce the order in all MDAs, the states and at the local government level as the speedy implementation of the order would grow the economy.
Williams said his association wants the local content order in ICT to be implemented as a matter of urgency.
“For the executive order on local content to stay, implementation is necessary, the policy statement is a good one but implementation is another thing.
“We want the government to enforce it that every MDA should purchase ICT local content equipment in the country.
“If we have that in place, importing ICT equipment would be a thing of the past and this will open the market in the country,” he said.
“We want to thank National Information Technology Development Agency, as it has been doing wonderfully well in the area of local content.
He said the association was happy that some of the MDAs were already keying into the local content policy but some were not still in line.
Williams stated that local content was a policy order, which MDAs should follow up, adding that it was not optional, whereby some MDAs would comply but others would not accept it.
Williams also appealed to government to look into the issue of power, which has been a major challenge to the ICT sector.
According to him, stakeholders in the industry were finding it very difficult to do business without enough power.
He, however, commended government for its support in terms of policy control in the industry through the Nigerian Communications Commission and Ministry of Communications.