Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa 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 May 1, 2017 and February 12, 2018 respectively, in awarding contracts in the sector.

The Minister’s latest directive comes in 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 increasing 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 GCFR, on February 12, 2018, however, is even more specifically directed at the sector. The document  entitled 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 Minister 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 this directive.

Dr. Pantami assured all Nigerians of his commitment to the protection of the rights of all citizens and the delivery of our mandate.