The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has charged the Nigerian Professionals in the fields of Science, Engineering and Technology to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Executive Order No5 (E05) to be globally competitive.
The director-general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim gave the charge during the official launching of an indigenous software for establishment of database of Nigerian Professionals for the implementation of Executive Order No5 for the North-West geopolitical zone of the country in Kano.
Ibrahim said that the Executive Order 005 was signed into law by Mr. President on February 2, 2018 to set the nation on the path of viable and sustainable economic growth with rapid transformation using the instruments and platforms of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
According to him, the order is to ensure that all procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in award of contracts, in line with the public procurement act 2007. The order also prevents the Ministry of Interior from issuing expatriate visas to foreigners who intend to come to Nigeria to undertake jobs that Nigerians have the competencies and capacities to undertake.
He stated that Mr. President in addition, directed ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects.
He however, noted that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plans for indigenous skills development prior to the award of such contracts.
The DG said that the development of such robust and interactive platform had become necessary to avail Nigerian professional both at home and in Diaspora the opportunity of registering their profiles without physically visiting the Office.
He said in line with the local content initiative of the present administration, the platform was developed by an indigenous Information Technology (IT) company; Cagewox Dot Net limited, adding that the platform is designed to capture, store, analyze and provide search and reporting capacities on the profiles and competencies of Nigerian professionals in Science, Engineering and Technology related fields.
Ibrahim said that the national launching of the software was held in FCT, Abuja on May 9, 2022 and subsequently in Lagos on May 17, 2022 for South-West geopolitical Zone and now Kano for the North-West geopolitical Zone to ensure that all Nigerian professionals are aware of this brilliant initiative.
He decried the enormous amount of foreign currency spent to procure foreign technologies into the Country especially in the area of software by Nigerian entrepreneurs, he said it became necessary to encourage the development and utilization of indigenous capacities by engaging an indigenous software Company called Cagewox Dot Net limited for development of the app.
In her paper titled “Presidential Executive Order No5, Role of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), the Journey so far” the director, Technology Acquisition and Research Coordination, (TARC) department, Mrs. Caroline Ani-Osuagwu said that the choice of engaging an indigenous software developer for development of the app was strategic as it offered other Nigerian professionals hope that the Country has started looking inwards in award of contracts.
She said that the Office had engaged in inter-agency interactions/liaison through courtesy visits and workshops to sensitize stakeholders on the importance of the Executive Order N05 to the sustainable economic development of the country. She added that NOTAP had registered over 600 professionals since the National launching of the software.
Ani-Osuagwu stated that the app is a self-service platform for professionals both at home and in the Diaspora to sign-up from anywhere they may be and create profile accounts on the portal using any device. The portal according to her also provides an interface that allows professionals to activate their accounts especially professionals who were created from the backend via upload as well as legacy professional’s data migrated into the system.
A statement by NOTAP’s assistant chief information officer, Raymond Ogbu, said four technical papers were presented at the one-day programme which was well attended by stakeholders from the North-West Zone.