Communications Minister urges NCC to enforce local content policy 

Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja

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The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has been directed  to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Executive Orders in awarding contracts in the sector.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami gave the directed in Abuja, Nigeria.

According to a statement signed by the minister’s spokesperson, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, stated that, 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 side-lined.

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 led administration and the telecommunications sub-sector is one of the most important.

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, Pantami said: “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.

Dr. Pantami has also 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.

He 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.