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Is the Federal Government’s “Buy Nigerian-made ICT” campaign smart technology policy?

By Sabina Behague on June 1, 2012


The National Information Technology Development Agency of Nigeria is enforcing a Federal Government mandatory policy that requires public sector ministries, departments and agencies to procure Nigerian IT products. As Vanguard Nigeria reports:

“Ministries, departments and agencies that do not patronize Nigeria IT products are liable to imprisonment and fine or both. ‘Indeed, it will be an offense punishable by a prison term and fine under the NITDA Act,’ said Director General of National IT Development Agency, NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Angaye”

Now the idea of buying local is a good one. Nigeria certainly has quality technology producers. Omatek has its own netbook and Zinox outsells international laptops like HP, Acer, Toshiba, Dell, Lenovo and LG Electronics. But is requiring the purchase of Nigerian products good mandatory policy?

I think I have to agree with Aghatise Joseph’s response:

In as much as we welcome this initiative, I personally view it as a step in the WRONG direction. NITDA should be talking about technology skills transfer rather than total dependency on a weak economy. How many companies currently ASSEMBLE computers and ICT related devices in Nigeria? NITDA should have supported educational institutions in ICT development and grown the sector over time before coming up with this ACT. It will definitely fail.

What is your take? Is NITDA smart or crazy in enforcing “buy Nigeria” in government purchases of technology products and services?


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International development professional (and mom), living in DC metro area. I am focused on ICT and education, with mad writing and editing skills, proposal development acumen, and Latin America and Africa experience.
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2 Comments to “Is the Federal Government’s “Buy Nigerian-made ICT” campaign smart technology policy?”

  1. Interesting topic. I think there are better ways of encouraging the local ICT industry. Reduced duties on components for manufacturing, tax breaks for local manufacturing firms, a drastic reduction on the multiple taxation issues that are destroying Nigerian businesses. There are several infrastructural, legal and regulatory bottlenecks that are also crippling entrepreneurship in Nigeria. The government should address these issues in order to provide a smooth playing ground for local manufacturers/entrepreneurs. All these will help local ICT companies achieve some level of competitiveness. Nigerians by nature are entrepreneurial and hardworking you only need to take a walk down any neighborhood and you can see the multitude of micro businesses that are sustaining families. Unfortunately, there are no effective effort to encourage these entrepreneurs. But for a country that is practicing free trade to prosecute consumers for buying foreign ICT products? I don’t know if that is not against the multitude of free trade agreements of which Nigeria is signatory. I am Nigerian and I used to work for one of the local manufacturers (Zinox) before now.

  2. Maria Burton says:

    Its wrong and it will all end in a mess. You can’t do things like this to help growth. Why not give tax breaks for Nigerian computer manufactures. Let people have the choice. Encourage competition but closing markets only leads to corruption in the long term and could hold back Nigerians development in the long term.