The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has mandated 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.
The Minister’s latest directive came as a response to issues raised by stakeholders drawing his attention 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 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 003, which is aimed at support for 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 on 12th February 2018, however, 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 signed by the Minister’s spokesperson, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, said.
The statement adds: “The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Policy of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Ministry’s mandate, has directed the sector regulator NCC, to immediately:
- 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; and
- Ensure that patronage of Indigenous Content as outlined in the Executive Orders are complied with in the sub-sector.”
It further said that 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 the directive.
Pantami assures all Nigerians of his commitment to the protection of the rights of all citizens and the delivery of our mandate.