Transparency Advocacy Initiative Nigeria, a coalition of civil society groups, said that Nigeria can save about $3.8 billion annually if it sticks to the road map by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to boost local production of information and communications technology, ICT, products
The coalition lamented that the country loses the amount every year to importation of ICT goods services and software that can be produced locally. Solomon Adodo, convener of the coalition, however praised recent efforts by NITDA to sanitise the sector in Nigeria.
He noted that the agency was being repositioned under its new Director General, Isa Ibrahim “whose sole and singular pursuit is to make NITDA a leader in information technology development that can measure up to the best global standards”.
Mr. Adodo said the efforts of NITDA were beginning to be felt in contract awards and procurement by government agencies and in monitoring of importation of ICT products by MDAs into the country.
“In the few instances where contracts were awarded, they have been handled in strict adherence to due process. This measure has helped to ensure that the best standards are attained in projects execution at NITDA and shifted the focus away from contracts to the core productivity and regulatory objectives of the Agency.”
He stressed that the money being wasted through capital flight and forex in the importation of ICT products should be used to boost local production as well as revamp the country’s ICT sector.
“The determined effort being made by NITDA to boost local content is a masterstroke that will reverse capital flight and loss of forex as this will save the nation an estimated $3.8 billion that is annually lost to importation of ICT goods services and software”, Mr. Adodo said.
He urged MDAs to strengthen their partnership with NITDA in the execution of their Info-tech projects to ensure that premium standards were maintained and local content enhanced.
Mr. Adodo noted that in the recent past, fake and substandard products almost saturated the ICT market and affected efficiency and productivity in virtually all sectors of the economy.