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NOTAP Intensifies Drive For Indigenous Software Devt

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The National Office For Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has intensified efforts to boost indigenous software development in Nigeria in line with the implementation of the Presidential Executive Order No.5 (EO5).

The EO5, which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 2, 2018, was premised on the need to promote Nigeria’s software developers and exploit their immense talents in the ICT sector which in recent times contributed 17.9 per cent  to the GDP of Nigeria.

During a media chat on public presentation of an indigenous software for implementation of the EO5, in Abuja yesterday, the director general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, said that the EO5 is to set the nation on the path of viable and sustainable economic growth with rapid transformation using the instruments and platform of Science Technology and Innovation (STI).

He noted that it is key to improving local content in public procurement with Science, Engineering and Technology components.

The “ Presidential Executive Order 5 For Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts on Science, Engineering and Technology “ is aimed at ensuring that all “ procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007,”  he said. Driving this initiative, NOTAP engaged an indigenous IT firm – Cagewox.net limited that has within a price of N32 million, considered moderate by the agency,  developed a robust central platform/database for the agency that captures, stores, analyses and provide search and reporting capacities on the profile and competencies ( i.e. qualifications, certificates, experience achievements etc) of the Nigerian professionals in Science, Engineering and Technology related fields within the country and outside.

According to the NOTAP boss “it will ensure the development of local contents; it will also ensure that Nigerian professionals are involved in the execution of projects in science, technology and engineering and giving the Nigerian professionals the opportunity to compete favourably.”

He said further that the agency has fully digitalized its technology transfer and the application was also developed by other indigenous firms and those Nigerian firms have started to export software outside Nigeria.

“So, we have the competences, it is for us to ensure that we patronize Nigerian software developers so that they will do more instead of acquiring foreign software. We have to encourage all indigenous firms that will give Nigeria economic development.

“The implication is that we are saving foreign exchange and we are encouraging the development capacities of Nigerians that will ensure the sustainable development of Nigeria.  Nigerian professionals are called upon to register in our database,” he said.

The EO5 also prohibits the Ministry of Interior from issuing visas to foreign nationals whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.  In other words, the order will preclude foreigners from taking contracts jobs that Nigerians have the competence and capabilities to handle. This is in a bid to not only protect and sustain the indigenous competencies but also to further build capacities as well as enhance their financial base.

Ministries Departments and Agencies are mandated to engage indigenous professionals in planning, design and execution of national security projects. But   where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with demonstrable and verifiable plans for indigenous skills development prior to the award of such contracts.

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