The local vendor programme initiated by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) is assisting the nation in building local capacity for software development.

Director General NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim made this known when he led a delegation of NOTAP management to the National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA).

He said that as part of its mandate, NOTAP registers technology transfer agreements coming into the country and for any software agreement, the agency insists that its deployment must involve a local vendor who will get 40 per cent of the yearly service or maintenance fee.

With this arrangement, he stressed, Nigerians are economically empowered and their capacity in software development enhanced citing example of an IT firm, Computer Warehouse Group(CWG)as a beneficiary of this programme.

He decried the current situation whereby most of the nations operations depend largely on foreign software with the resultant huge capital flight and therefore called for closer collaboration with NITDA to ensure that local software are identified through exhibitions, developed, tested and deployed for the nations operations to reduce the huge dependence on imported ones.

Responding, Director General of NITDA Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) said the high deployment of foreign software in the Nigerian economy has been of great concern to the agency due to the huge foreign exchange involved.

He disclosed that one of the interventions by NITDA to stem the tide was the establishment of the Office for Nigerian Content in Information Communications Technology (ONC) which focuses on promotion, development and monitoring local content in Information Communications Technology (ICT) deployment in the country.

He said NITDA management is in the process of re-positioning the office and its operations for better service delivery since the agency is saddled with the responsibility of regulation, clearing and intervention on all ICT matters in Nigeria.

Dr. Ibrahim (Pantami) said NITDA is willing to collaborate with NOTAP as an important arm of government, to ensure that Nigeria reduces it huge dependence on imported goods and services for the growth of the economy.

A standing committee made up of senior officials of both agencies will be set up to draw guidelines for the collaboration aimed at strengthening their mandates and operations towards the development of the nation.