The Federal Government through the National Population Commission (NPC) has signed a milestone deal with Nigeria’s integrated technology brand, Zinox, for the supply of the tech elements and other accessories for the 2023 public census project, farther justifying President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s commitment to local content advancement.
The contract, worth over N85 billion, was awarded to Zinox after ratification by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
In a statement, yesternight, from Zinox, the company, which has earlier commenced supply of the first batch of about 100,000 units of the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) devices needed for the national enumeration, emerged as the preferred specialized consort for the exercise after scaling a rigorous pass process involving other original and international contenders.
It was noted that Zinox met the rank as an indigenous technology highflier with global connections which has continually enjoyed the confidence of leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other tech heavyweights the world over.
This, it was learnt, earned it an endorsement by the Federal Government for the project. Also, to its credit is the fact that it was Zinox that helped the nation’s voter enrollment exercise in 2006 and 2010 when big foreign tech companies contracted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) couldn’t deliver as inscribed.
Zinox used its Z-Pad smart device to lay the foundation for Nigeria’s digital democracy upon which INEC is erecting on today. The smooth implementation of the over $200 million INEC contract in 2010 added motivation to the profile of Zinox as a strong indigenous company with capacity and competency.
Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, said that the company had built a system of integrity and a record of excellence, both in Nigeria and internationally. Further, Ekeh noted that until there was a believable data census figure, the country can not plan well.
Also, Managing Director, of Zinox Technologies, Mrs Kelechi Okonta, said “ It’s a honor for the Federal Government to consider us among numerous other companies in the world. They know we’ve the capacity. We’re deploying all our resources to make sure it’s successful.
The 2023 census, scheduled to hold between March and April, will be the fifth to be conducted by the Nigerian government since independence in 1960 and it’s coming 17 years since the last edition which was held in 2006 under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The NPC Chairman, Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra, noted that the 2023 census would signal a new dawn in housing and human headcount in Nigeria as there would be noover- counting or under- counting, adding that the devices, when commissionedwith the forms, maps and other digital improvements, would ensure that enumeratorsare unable to go beyond the areas assigned to them. In addition, he commended Zinox for the steadfastness, commitment and huge capacity displayed in the way it has commenced execution of the contract.
He noted that the software (App) that would be employed to enable and drive the PDAs was locally developed, therefore fulfillingPresident Muhammadu Buhari’s Administrative Order on local content, as well as theNational Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) regulation on LocalOriginal Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the procurement of the PDA devices.
The NPC Chairman said“ With all enhancements that the National Population Commission is provisioning the devices with e.g the Mobile Device Management, we can monitor the enumerators on the field and ensure that the data provided by Nigerians are secured and well managed for their privacy.
The geospatial resources that NPC has acquired will be stationed on the devices.This will ensure that all Nigerians are counted where they’re and live. We’ll also be suitable to collect statistics on housing type and characteristics for better physical and social planning by the government for the nation.
The homeless will be counted, tied to their usual place of domicile, exemplified with geo-coordinates; the Special Population drifters, immigrants, people in transit, etc, will be counted with geo- reference to where they’re found at the time of the Census. Everyone will be counted because all Nigerians count.