For Nigeria to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 in the ICT sector, it needs to deploy nationwide, at least, 25 million computers in the next few years, according to a statement by Leo Stan Ekeh, chairman, Zinox Technologies Limited. Speaking at the 10th year anniversary of the ICT revolution, he noted that 3.7 million of these PCs should be deployed in each of the 6 geopolitical zones with 2.5 million in Abuja.
The benefits: even economic development, hasten the realization of the MDGs by 2015 and actualization of vision 20:2020. According to him, these 25 million PCs are to be produced and delivered by the indigenous Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). That is simply money for Zinox, as always!
“These PCs would be targeted at youths who leave secondary school with 6 ‘Alphas’ , and all graduating students from the polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Universities. The machines are to be funded by the federal government under an arrangement that requires all corporate persons to pay 1 percent ICT tax for a period of 5 years. “On the alternative savings from the sovereign wealth fund could be ploughed into the provision of these PCs in the next three years”, he added.
Ekeh stated that this would address the problem of capacity building as Nigerians acquire more technical competencies. He said that prices would be forced down appreciably enabling the local OEMs to compete with their foreign counterparts, adding that Nigerian banks are not lending money to local OEMs and vendors because of unpredictable patronage.
“Boost the local industry with 25 million PCs and you can be sure that banks would line up with all kinds of finance packages. Besides, the deployment of large numbers of PCs would boost participation in the development of software applications, the internet and social media and we can start talking of the ICT revolution in real terms”.
But no matter how you see it, Stan is asking government to make him a bigger mogul. After all, in the local OEM sector, his company runs the show. Omatek has been on comatose for ages and the computer man knows what he is talking about. The interesting thing is that the government will never do that because it will not. While it is cool to give computers away, there are kids in the nation that have no clue on how to use a pencil. They better use that money to give free education in all the states of the federal to secondary school level. With time, those kids will figure out computing.