Indigenous technical skills critical to growth, says Skysat chief

 By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria  

The Chief executive Officer of Skysat Technologies Limited, Mr. Izzat Debs, has said the conscious development of indigenous technical skills in the country remains one of the ways of developing the information communications (ICT) sector of the country to make it grow the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

He said it is in realisation of this fact that the firm has made the training of young indigenous engineers to handle its range of Konica Minolta printing machines a top priority.

“Our field engineers are 90 per cent Nigerians, with foreign technical support.  This is one area we as a company place so much emphasis on. We take a lot of Nigerians to Germany for training. Over the past few years, we have helped to create employment opportunity for young Nigerians through this,” he said on the sidelines during the launch of Konica Minolta Bizhub Press C1100 digital printing machine in Abuja.

According to him, the engineers that would attend to any technical problem on the machine, should it arise at all, were already on the field, offering technical support for the machine he described as a technology that marked a paradigm shift from the previous printing technologies.

He said: “Our engineers are already in the field. They are trained specifically to handle any issue concerning the machine should it arise at all. They are technical team with certification from Konica Minolta. Each of the engineers has his own levels such as masters and so on. Our engineers have already completed those exams. We are not only doing product certification, we also do technical certification on Konica Minolta to service those machines. They actually do exams on Konica Minolta.”

Debs identified erratic power supply as one of the major factors inhibiting the growth of digital commercial press in the country, adding that the job creation potential of the digital press cannot be overemphasized.

He said though the government has been trying its best to fix the challenge in the power sector, more still needs to be done to encourage small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) play more significant role in the digital printing space.

He said:  “Of course, if the government can really resolve the power issue, there will be so many commercial presses that will be opened. Power is is something that is challenging for everyone.”

Speaking on the machines, he said they are the latest technology in town and built to take care of the power realities in the country. According to him, the warranty that the firm received its manufacturers from overseas is three months, adding that training of the final consumers of the product is part of the deal.

“We do a lot of training for the operators. It is all part of the package that we sell. We don't just sell these printers to you, we also train the operators so they know how to use the machines and they reduce the minimum level of down time and break downs. “There is also the service agreement with the customers that could be signed in the contract. It could be yearly service agreement in which case, for one year, your machine is always taken care of. For us, we feel duty-bound to give the best to our customers.”

On availability of consumables, he said the service centres of the firm are spread all over the country. “We have offices in Lagos, Victoria Island and Ikeja; we have in Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt and in more remote areas, we need to send the goods by air transportation so the down time is reduced to the barest minimum. We have very big stock of consumables available in all service centres to make sure that the customer doesn't have any interruption in the process of production,” he said.


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