ICT experts under the aegis of Young ICT Professionals have warn against operational risk and also ‘single point of failure’ scenario if the National Population Commission were to continue with its plan to deliver 800,000 devices from just one company for the upcoming 2023 Census exercise.
While welcoming the commission efforts to deliver a Technology driven census for 2023, the experts expressed concern on the unusual focus on foreign tablet brand and supplier saying its reduces the opportunities for Job creation in the country.
Speaking Tuesday in Abuja, at an event organized by Young ICT Professionals Dr. Abdulwahab Olajide Kunle urged the National Population Commission (NPC) to ensure such a high deployment of devices is fairly distributed among the competent factories in teh industry , so as to manage delivery risk and maximize job creation opportunities across the country.
He advised the federal government to patronise the local Industry robustly as preparations for the 2023 census begin in earnest.
Kunle said the National Population Commission (NPC), and Federal Government must embrace competent Nigerian producers of devices for 2023 National Population Census exercise to help grow the economy , manage risks and strengthen the security situation in the country.
He said one of the major challenges affecting the ICT industry in the country was that some Nigerians believe that imported products are of higher quality than locally-made one noting that the country now boasts of over 5 world class computer device assembly plants and 3 Original Equipment Manufacturers OEM certified by global bodies. These number continue to dwindle because of lack of fair patronage with local producers.
He commended President Buhari for his unrelenting campaign in the areas of patronising locally made products in the country, and said the FG efforts in that regards has greatly yielded result.
He said challenges abound for investors who struggle to justify investment, adding that the decision by NPC to procure 800,000.00 devices is enough to revolutionise the ICT manufacturing sector in the country.
He commended the steps taken by NPC by visiting local OEM’s to ensure NITDA compliance while conducting transparent bid process.
He said engaging local industries will help create job employment, and stem the security situation in the country.
According to him, Nigeria’s ICT industries have the manpower and capacity to manage and provide all the devices needed to conduct hitch free census in 2023 exercise without hindrance rather than import.
He added, “when the country continues to rely on importation of ICT devices from foreign countries that can be produced locally, it is simply exporting job opportunities abroad and also putting pressure on foreign exchange.
“When we talk about missed opportunities in developing local content through Npower, DSO, election devices, smart meters etc, all these projects could have sparked ICT manufacturing industrializations in the country,” he explained.
He appealed to the FG and policy-makers and industries to encourage and promote made-in-Nigerian products, saying that Nigerians are doing well in manufacturing quality products that could compete with their foreign counterparts.