The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has issued a mandate to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); regarding conduct during the awarding of contracts in the telecommunications sector.
In a statement issued on Monday. December 2; by the minister’s spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman; Pantami revealed that the NCC must adhere strictly to the provisions of the Executive Orders.
These executive orders (003 and 005) are contained in the presidential directives of May 1, 2017; and February 12, 2018, respectively.
Pantami further stated that concerned stakeholders had filed complaints; regarding 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 of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration; with the telecommunications sub-sector as one of the most important.
The document directs all MDAs to engage indigenous professionals in the planning; design and execution of national security projects.
“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.
Pantami also ordered NCC to review the telecommunications sub-sector activities; give top priority and preference to Nigerian companies; with the requisite skills and qualifications.
He mandated the NCC to “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” while also ensuring “that patronage of Indigenous Content; as outlined in the Executive Orders are complied with, in the sub-sector.”
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.