Business Hilights
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‘NITDA’s seriousness in enforcing EOs, local content’ll favour OEMs’

A leading indigenous Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and stakeholder in Information Technology in Lagos, has hailed the courage of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in stepping up enforcement action against 125 ministries, departments and agencies for failing to obtain authorisation before embarking on information technology projects.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, the industry player, who pleaded anonymity, said “I think that will be the best thing ever to come from NITDA since inception.”

“Let me tell you, many of us who had been in the industry have been finding it difficult sealing product supply deals with MDAs due to their preference to whatever that is from outside this country.

“However, I still have my reservation on whether NITDA is really serious or just an end of the year buzz on its fellow MDAs.

The stakeholder further argued that “Should NITDA means business, a lot of companies that had been struggling to survive will pick up and that will also save capital flights for the government plus growing indigenous capacities at the same time.

Business Hilights recalls that a statement recently issued by the IT development agency in Abuja, quoted the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, as saying that NITDA has initiated enforcement action against some yet to be named federal agencies over their abuse of Executive Order 03 and 05 plus negligence of the extant provisions of the Regulatory Framework for Promotion of Local Content in IT.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had, through a circular with Ref No. 59736/S.2/C.II/125, issued on August 31, 2018, directed all MDAs to clear all IT projects with NITDA before implementation, and to comply with the Regulatory Framework for Promotion of Local Content in IT.

Besides, President Muhammadu Buhari had restated the directive at the recently concluded e-Nigeria conference.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isah Pantami

NITDA recalled further that “To underscore government’s determination at ensuring compliance with these regulatory instruments, President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated his directive that NITDA is to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that all government funded ICT projects are reviewed and cleared by the agency before implementation.”

The federal agency had issued two regulatory instruments for the Promotion of Indigenous Content Development in ICT and the Guidelines for Clearance of Information Technology Projects by Public Institutions.

The regulatory instruments were issued pursuant to section 6 (a) (b) (c) of the NITDA Act 2007, and violation of the guidelines constitute an offence pursuant to section 17(4) of the Act and punishable under section 18 of the same Act.

Already, the agency said it had referred the matter to the Nigeria Police Force for appropriate investigation and prosecution in line with the extant law and in the spirit of the Eos as signed by the President.