Stop sidelining local content players in the award of contracts- Pantami to NCC

By Ibiyemi Mathew

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)to give equal opportunities in the award of contracts to Local content players.

In a press statement issued by the spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications & Digital Economy,Mrs Uwa Suleiman,the minister directed 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 1st May 2017 and 12th February 2018 respectively, in awarding contracts in the sector .

He added that 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 005 which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, on 12th February 2018, however, is even more specifically directed at the sector.

The statement read thus:

“Stakeholders have drawn the attention of the Honourable Minister to the non-compliance of the sector regulator with the policy, as a result of which indigenous companies in the sector have continued to be sidelined.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Policy of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), and the Ministry’s mandate, has directed the sector regulator NCC, to immediately:

  1.      Review the Telecommunications sub-sector activities and give top priority and preference to Nigerian companies, with the requisite skills and qualifications;
  2. 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

iii.        Ensure that patronage of Indigenous Content, as outlined in the Executive Orders are complied with, in the sub-sector.

In light of this, it is our obligation 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 above.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, 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. Dr Pantami assures all Nigerians of his commitment to the protection of the rights of all citizens and the delivery of our mandate,”the statement read.

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