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ITAN restates commitment to deliver on local computer needs

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria Ltd (ITAN) led by Mrs. Florence Seriki has expressed its disaffection over an alleged statement by the Director General of NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Angaye that low patronage of local computer companies may be attributed to the inability of local computer companies to mass produce computers that would meet the demands of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Angaye’s statement was published in a local media. But he has denied it. He told ITAN that he was quoted out of context at the Lagos function where he spoke.

The Nigerian government has an official policy to patronize local computer makers otherwise called original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Local OEMs include Omatek Computer Ventures Plc, Zinox Computers, Veda Computers, SpeedStar and Brian Systems.

By law all MDAs are to purchase their computer needs from the local OEMs in the first instance. Systems may be purchased from foreign brands only after such systems are not available from the local OEMs.

But the brand war between local and foreign OEMs has remained fiery in a market where government is the biggest buyer. Foreign brands want a piece of the action in the increasingly juicy Nigerian market where demands in public and private sectors is rising.

Foreign brands dominate the market but rising sales within the public sector could undermine this dominance thorough the buy made-in-Nigeria policy of the government introduced in 2006 to help beef up sales for the local OEMs.

“It is totally false to say that local OEMs cannot meet the demands of the MDAs,” said Seriki in Lagos; adding that the combine strength of local OEMs far exceeds what is in demand.

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