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Technology: Nigeria pegs N5bn capital base for manufacturers

Technology: Nigeria pegs N5bn capital base for manufacturers
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The Federal Government of Nigeria has recommended a N5 billion minimum capital base for makers of computers and allied devices known in tech industry speak as Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs).

Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Nigeria's technology conglomerate, Zinox Technologies
Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Nigeria’s technology conglomerate, Zinox Technologies

This is one of the key highlight of guidelines by Office for Nigeria Content (ONC) in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), a unit of the National information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), set up to foster growth in the Nigeria technology ecosystem.

The new guideline also stipulate that ODMs must maintain local capacity to assemble and install minimum of one million devices annually for technology devices like computer desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones either directly or through a local ODM.

”ODM shall maintain a minimum capitalization of Five Billion Naira”, ONC said in its Guidelines hoped to promote growth of Nigerian content development in ICT obtained by Technology Times.

According to the document, ODMs must hold and maintain product and quality certifications such as ISO 14001, ISO 9001 at local facilities and for scope including design, manufacturing, sales and maintenance of various products being sold in the Nigerian market.

With the coming effect of this new directive, ODMs have a five-year duty waiver on computer components, “which is for integration into locally-assembled devices”but fully-built computers or products are exempted, ONC says.

ONC says that the guideline were developed to enable the local ICT industry to contribute meaningfully towards the achievement of national development targets in Nigeria.

On the other hand, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) must recapitalize and maintain a minimum market capitalization of N2 billion, the guidelines say.

Technology Times of the ONC Guidelines shows that ODM are required to maintain at least 50% local content by value either directly or through outsourcing to local manufacturers engaged in any segment of the product value chain.

ONC has in effect set out a time frame of three years “achieving the 50% local content” according to the guidelines requiring that OEMs must maintain active certification with the Nigerian IT implementing agency, NITDA, that is renewable every four years.

According to the ONC guidelines, to meet re-certification conditions, OEMs must:

Dr Vincent Olatunji, acting Director-General of NITDA
Dr Vincent Olatunji, acting Director-General of NITDA

a. Maintain local capacity for the production of multiple computing form factors and devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, network devices etc. either directly or through a local ODM.

b. Assemble all hardware within Nigeria and maintain fully staff ed facilities for this purpose. Hold and maintain product and quality certifi cations such as ISO 14001, ISO 9001. .

c Hold and maintain at least one platform certification such as: i. Windows Hardware Certifi cation ii. Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) Certification as well as comply with the Android Compatibility Definition Document (CDD)

Also OEMs are compelled to design and develop products that support Nigerian languages and local use case including setting up and operating  after sales support, warranty support, return / repair center as well as a customer service center for their products. This can be outsourced locally.

”OEMs must obtain and maintain technical conditions for international product quality certifications such as ISO 9001, IEC, CEPT, DIN and ASA”

Also the directive  also enforce all Ministry, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)  to source and procure all computer hardware only from National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) approved Original Equipment Manufactures(OEM).

”In addition all MDAs must Purchase all hardware products locally and also purchase ICT hardware that have soft and hard keyboards capable of supporting Nigerian languages and the Naira sign”

”Give preference to companies with existing hardware support facilities and functional service stations with impressive customer service metrics measured frequently”the document adds.

And also MDAs must consider all IT projects as turnkey deployments and not mere supply of components. Vendors must demonstrate appropriate systems integration capability in order to qualify for large scale projects.

ONC is  a semi autonomous development focused special purpose vehicle of NITDA set up for the purpose of implementing the guideline for a National content development program and of championing the growth and development of Nigeria content in ICT.

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Kolade Akinola Technology Journalist at Technology Times Mobile: + 234 (0) 807 401 6027

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