Business Hilights
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‘Executive bill to criminalize breach of local content policy on IT procurement coming’

The Minister of Communication, Barr Adebayo Shittu has revealed that the federal government is working on a legislative move to enact a holistic law to criminalize breach of the Executive Orders 003 and 005 on local content in Information Technology procurement both by public and private sector operators.

Business Hilights recalls that both Orders 003 and 005 are designed to give local software industry and practitioners chance to improve their skills as the orders provide that in any need to procure related items, local sources must be first exhausted before looking abroad.

However, there are indications that the Orders are not followed by even government MDAs, hence the need for a real law to drive enforcement and industry confidence.

Explaining why government is considering a real law, Shittu said “Local content must be elevated to such a level as to save our economy. What more can be economic sabotage if actions that cause massive loss of jobs foreign exchange are not redressed?”

Only recently, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami noted that “considering that about 80% of ICT hardware and software consumed in Nigeria are imported, by estimation, Nigeria would spend about 120 billion by the year 2020 on the importation of foreign technologies. The influx of foreign technologies into the Nigerian market has made the nation a dumping ground for substandard technologies.”

He said his agency has taken it seriously to make sure that every IT procurement by any of the MDAs must first avail local sources before any form of approval will be given for sourcing the items out of the country.

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