Minister tasks NCC, others on local content
• Seeks more jobs for local telecoms companies
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has mandated the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Executive Orders 003 and 005 as contained in the Presidential directives of May 1, 2017 and February 12, 2018 respectively, in awarding contracts in the sector .
The minister claimed his attention has been drawn to the non-compliance of NCC with the policy, as a result of which indigenous companies in the sector have continued to be sidelined.
The Executive Orders 003 of 2017 and 005 of 2018 were specifically enacted to give impetus to the Local Content Development and Promotion drive of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as the Telecommunications sub-sector is one of the most important.
Executive Order 003, which is aimed at support for local content in public procurement by the Federal Government, expressly states that, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) shall grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers, in their procurement of goods and services. Executive Order 005, which was signed by the president on February 12, 2018, however, is even more specifically directed at the sector.
The document titled: Planning and Execution of Projects and Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts of Science, Engineering and Technology, directs all MDAs to engage indigenous professionals in the planning , design and execution of national security projects and maximize in-country capacity in all contracts and transactions with Science, Technology and Engineering components.
In light of this, Pantami said it is the obligation of the ministry to entrench the rule of law and ensure as much as possible, National Security Infrastructure and information, is domiciled locally with local companies as a first choice, and indigenous innovation is developed by adhering to the tenets of the Executive Orders outlined.
According to the minister, in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Policy of President Buhari, and the ministry’s mandate, NCC should review the telecommunications sub-sector activities and give top priority and preference to Nigerian companies, with the requisite skills and qualifications; provide an enabling environment for local capacity to develop through collaborations with foreign companies, in the event that the contract is awarded to a foreign company, where indigenous capacity is lacking; and ensure that patronage of Indigenous Content, as outlined in the Executive Orders are complied with, in the sub-sector.
Pantami said he is confident that the leadership of NCC will rise to the occasion and expedite action on this matter a month from the date of issue of this directive.