Having tasted the benefits of technology from the N4.7 billion monthly savings from Single Treasury Account, TSA policy to N20bn monthly saving on introduction of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN), President Buhari has frowned at the high rate of consumption of foreign technology in the country and charged Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to put a stop to it forthwith.
Buhari who declared open the 2017 edition of eNigeria Conference and Exhibition organized by the National Information and Technology Development Agency, NITDA in Abuja, today, decried that about 80 percent of ICT hardware purchases in the country are imported through local distributors of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) by MDAs and other government establishments.
This, he said: ‘‘makes it difficult for us to benefit from the dividends of continuous procurement and consumption of ICT infrastructure and limited value retention within the country.’’
‘‘As the most populous country in Africa, there are huge opportunities for ICT manufacturing in Nigeria. This, when harnessed, will provide job opportunities for our teaming youths, enhance the quality of locally produced infrastructure, reduce cost of acquisition and increase government revenue.
‘‘There is need for deliberate efforts, both from government as well as the private sector to see to the realisation of this.’’
According to him, the administration had done a lot to transform the government especially in the areas of strategy, policies and digital infrastructure investments.
This he said resulted into the recently issued Executive Order mandating all ministries, departments and agencies to give preference to locally manufactured goods and services in their procurement of information technology services.
‘‘Such measures are part of the deliberate efforts at encouraging local manufacture of ICT infrastructure, creating job opportunities, providing investment opportunities as well as strengthening our currency,’’ he added.
He however, commended NITDA’s efforts on fostering the patronage of indigenous IT products and services through continuous engagement with indigenous OEMs, relevant stakeholders and other laudable initiatives.
31 reforms completed by Council
On reforms, the President also stated that ICT has played a pivotal role in agencies of government such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in improving public service delivery in an efficient and transparent manner.
According to him, 31 reforms had been completed by the Council with these reforms already making noticeable impact on the economic diversification efforts.
‘‘The Agency’s efforts at enforcing Federal Government’s directive on ensuring that it clears all ICT projects in the country before implementation are highly commendable.
‘‘These efforts will ensure that government’s ICT procurements are transparent, they are aligned with government’s IT shared vision and policy, save costs through promotion of shared services, avoid duplication, ensure compatibility of IT systems thereby improving efficiency across government and enforce the patronage of indigenous companies.’’
While urging the participants to come up with viable recommendations on how to make the country an export hub for ICT hardware in Africa, he also charged the conference to come up with practical and viable solutions to further develop local content in ICT as well as how best to regulate the deployment and use of ICT systems to foster a digital economy in Nigeria.
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