How to grow indigenous OEMs, by Omatek chief

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

‎The Chief Executive Office, Omatek Ventures, Engr Mrs. Florence Seriki, has told the Minister of Communications Technology, Adebayo Shittu that one of the ways to enhance the growth of indigenous capacities of local original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) is the implementation of the local content policy in the information communication technology (ICT) industry.

She said without support from the public sector by way of good policies, the ICT sector will not be able to create wealth, jobs and encourage economic growth.

Seriki lamented that the non-implementation of the local content policy which directed all public institutions, including federal government-owned schools, ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) to patronize local OEMs had continued to stifle the growth of the industry.

She said: "Omatek will be 30 years this year and we have thus far created a solid foundation by showcasing to the world that Nigeria is a hub of innovation and creativity leveraging not just desktop hardware technology but also solar power tech solutions."

“Many ministers have come to see what we do here at Omatek by way of showing support and see the need for government to begin to look in the direction of indigenous players in the technology industry to drive key sectors of the economy.”

"Record has it that to bridge the digital gap in Nigeria, government really has to look inward. And we ‎at Omatek have demonstrated skill, capacity and innovation to be able to handle national projects as we have exemplified in various federal tertiary institutions, banks, ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) for both federal and state governments and the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).”

Seriki said Nigeria could become another China and meet the needs of the entire West African sub-region if the necessary support was given by way of good policy direction, adding that the government should explore the public private partnership (PPP) to do this since it was impossible for government to do it alone.

"We know that government cannot do it all alone but we are ready to support it if the public private partnership model is adopted by this administration," Mrs Seriki said.

Speaking on the solar solutions of the firm, she they solutions range from household to industrial, adding that already, there are solutions to power the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of banks. She added that there are also solutions for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as well as larger industrial concerns.

"I am pleased with what I have seen here today. I know that Nigeria as an economy has diverse areas to generate wealth and capacity building to chase out joblessness. It is high time Nigeria began to patronise Nigeria. It is only when Nigerians patronise their own products that the economy could grow and jobs created. It is just the patriotic thing to do. Omatek has the potential to serve virtually all sectors of the economy. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will encourage the development of local capacities in line with the change agenda,” Shittu assured.

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