Experts seek ban on computer hardware importation

Lucas Ajanaku
August 31, 2023

The authorities of President Bola Tinubu ought to toe the trail of the Indian authorities which not too long ago imposed restrictions on import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one private computer systems and ultra-small computer systems and servers with rapid impact.
This is within the spirit of product nationalism, whereby international locations promote patronage of home-made services and products to spice up native productiveness, create extra jobs, encourage proficiency, and discourage capital flight.

In addition, this may assist construct religion in Nigeria which is President Tinubu’s new sermon.
Some Nigerian technocrats and ICT professionals have really useful the India’s coverage for the federal government, arguing {that a} ban on importation of computer systems and allied hardware is what is required to support the indigenous corporations producing the identical merchandise in-country, a few of that are struggling.
 A Fellow of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and former President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. Chris Uwaje, stated President Tinubu ought to undertake the Indian coverage in addition to make it necessary that overseas computer producers arrange native manufacturing services in Nigeria in partnership with indigenous computer corporations.
To additional encourage such partnership, he recommends that such new producers must be given pioneer standing incentives of a minimal of 5 to seven years.
Another ICT knowledgeable, Mr. Dotun Ali-Balogun urged President Tinubu to mandate that each one authorities ICT operations are run on the technical energy of domestically assembled computer systems.
His thought was corroborated by two different digital geeks, Messrs Michael Ikeogwu and Ayodele Ogundele who posited that now could be one of the best time for the Federal Government to undertake Buy-Nigeria coverage in ICT as a means of discouraging capital flight and inspiring native productiveness.
The new India coverage is precisely what the Tinubu authorities ought to do, says Ali-Balogun.
“The Federal Government ought to undertake a coverage that bans importation of computer hardware particularly these which can be already being assembled in Nigeria. This is not going to solely assist enhance native manufacturing, it would encourage effectivity in native manufacturing, create jobs, direct and oblique, by the complete worth chain, together with entrepreneurs, assist companies and logistics,” he stated.
Nigeria has a few indigenous computer hardware assembling corporations, with a few of them having technically confirmed merchandise by way of requirements. Available information lists native computer and allied merchandise makers to incorporate RLG, Beta, Data House Technologies, Zinox, Acti-Tech Limited, amongst others.  While it may be argued that almost all of them are struggling and will lack capability to satisfy native demand, the identical can’t be stated of Zinox which has since its roll out in 2001 as Nigeria’s first really globally-certified computer model gone forward to execute mega ICT tasks.
Zinox has over time proven capability each in Nigeria and offshore, delivering technically-demanding mega tasks all globally acknowledged as glorious. In 2006 and 2011, Zinox executed two of essentially the most time-critical ICT mega tasks ever to be undertaken in Africa with the introduction of the cardboard reader know-how and the Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines respectively on behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It replicated the identical by delivering light-years-ahead know-how for the National Population Commission (NPC) for the soon-to-be-organised first digital census in Nigeria.
It has additionally executed main tasks offshore in Guinea Bissau, The Gambia and the Arab nations by partnerships.
It will probably be recalled that underneath President Olusegun Obasanjo, a directive to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) was enforced and plenty of MDAs together with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), INEC, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), amongst different parastatals and tertiary establishments had their operations standardized with Zinox computer systems. It was additionally the usual techniques for Shell, Chevron and different personal equities, together with multinationals.
Again, underneath Obasanjo as President, Zinox powered the eighth All Africa Games codenamed COJA 2003 hosted in Nigeria; the 18th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) hosted by Obasanjo in Abuja between December 5 and December 8, 2003, and plenty of extra. The Obasanjo directive paid off as many indigenous computer assembling corporations ramped up manufacturing, improved the technical effectivity of their merchandise and created extra jobs with concomitant creation of economies of scale.
Statistics from the International Trade Centre confirmed that $1.09 billion was spent on software program acquisition and importation of computer companies into Nigeria in 5 years from 2016 to 2020.
The breakdown confirmed that software program and computer companies value $123.89m had been imported in 2016, the determine jumped to $216.57million in 2017, $257.55million in 2018 and dipped to $159.28million in 2019, earlier than rocketing to $336.43million in 2020.
In latest years, indigenous ICT corporations have demonstrated capability in each software program and hardware engineering such that multinationals like Microsoft, Oracle, Google, IBM are starting to point out extra curiosity in recruiting younger Nigerians.

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