The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Executive Orders in awarding contracts in the sector.
According to a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the minister’s spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, on Monday, the executive orders (003 and 005) are contained in the presidential directives of May 1, 2017, and February 12, 2018, respectively.
The statement said stakeholders had drawn the attention of the minister to the noncompliance of the sector regulator with the policy.
This, he said, had caused indigenous companies in the sector 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 and the telecommunications sub-sector is one of the most important.
Executive Order 003, which is aimed at supporting local content in public procurement by the Federal Government of Nigeria, 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 President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, on February 12, 2018, 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, 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 statement said.
Mr Pantami has directed NCC to 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,”
“Ensure that patronage of Indigenous Content, as outlined in the Executive Orders are complied with, in the sub-sector,” he said
Mr Pantami urged the leadership of NCC to rise to the occasion and expedite action on this matter a month from the date of issue of the directive.