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Software developers, OEMs doubt NITDA’s claims, say support for local IT discouraging

A number of Software developers in Nigeria has disagreed with the latest position of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which claimed that the patronage of local Information Technology equipment have continued to grow by about 100% in the last three years.
In a wave of interviews in Lagos, contacted developers and established OEMs said appetites and purchases of IT products by Nigerians both public and private entities are still foreign dominated.
The developers said not up to 50 per cent of MDAs host their websites locally not to talk of private entities where over 90 per cent still host their websites and data abroad.
They claim that even in software purchases, more than half of financial institutions still go for Asian products which they claim are cheaper and more secured.
In use of desktop computers, laptops and mobile tablets, foreign products still hold sway even in government offices as some of the OEMs who barred their mind with Business Hilights in Lagos said efforts they have been making to sale their products to even government MDAs at first look promising but usually fail on the road side towards the end of the deal.
Business Hilights recalls that the Director general of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, had while unveiling five new guidelines to further strengthen the country’s IT sector in Abuja, announced that efforts of his agency have crashed appetite for foreign IT products in the country in the last three years.
A data he rolled out showed that Indigenous Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) sold 98,224 devices in 2015, 154,424 in 2016 and 355,647 in 2017.
According to him, “This is unprecedented in the history of the country and this is expected to continue to grow significantly in the coming years
“On assumption of office, we realized that the agency did not have any instrument that stipulates a clear process for rule making for issuance of frameworks, standards and guidelines.
“This effort is to ensure that a defined, best practice approach to rule making is utilized by NITDA to develop sound instruments for regulation of IT.
“We also anticipate that the public will now understand all the processes involved in issuance of regulatory documents by the agency. This policy also creates platforms for public engagement in the issuance of regulatory documents by the agency.
“From this point henceforth, NITDA will be generally bound by the rulemaking process as an integral part of the operations of the agency.
“These efforts resulted in an exceptional increase in the patronage of locally assembled devices,” NITDA boss averred.