By Bukola Olanrewaju
In the effort to boost the image of Nigeria and its technological driven-economy, the President Computer and Allied products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), Ahmed Ojikutu has called on the government to make it compulsory that every Original Equipment Manufacturer, that produces phones, laptops, multimedia equipment, desktops or software application, must have its own company in Nigeria.
He said “Government should give them an idea; any products that sell over 1million products in one quarter in Nigeria should have a factory in Nigeria”.
Ojikutu who continued to study the technological environment of Nigeria and its growth highlighted some faults.
“Some of the things the companies do are that they will go and get a land at Lekki or Badagry area or somewhere and say we want to use it to start a factory anywhere in Nigeria. They will put proposed site and in 20 years they won’t come back”, Ojikutu said.
“It is must; the Government must make it compulsory to have their own companies in Nigeria and not just produce outside and make Nigeria a dumping ground.
“Let the government give them time; give them 24 months that they must open a factory. If you know you are not interested, and then sell to other countries, not to Nigeria”, Ojikutu said.
Speaking of the drawing more direct foreign investment in the country, Ojikutu said that “What we should do is to develop from within, local content development, as a nation, we should have an approach to develop from within.
“Our approach should be developing from within Nigeria. So, let the government engage operators then we can foster a national solid team that will develop some of these things in terms of bringing people together and spending more money in training these people, so as to be able in the nearest future have a 100 per cent made in Nigeria hardware.
“We are moving very fast on software. Let the government and engineers patronize them so that we will be able to grow those companies and when those companies are purely Nigerians, it would amount to national development.
Speaking further on the development of local content with NewsDirect, he posited that “the government can always improve, so we are urging them at this juncture again to improve in assisting the people on patronizing Nigeria-made soft ware applications and hardware and so many others ICT professionally related consultancy services and product that the government might need.
He strongly canvassed that “If all these jobs are given to Nigerians, it will assist the nation and the national policy.
“As I always say, there should be a 10-year plan whereby, some of those things will not be imported again, but will have to be Made in Nigeria product”, Ojikutu explained.