FG awards over N85b census contract to Zinox Technologies

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The National Population Commission (NPC), on behalf of the Federal Government, has signed a historic agreement with Nigeria’s integrated technology company Zinox for the supply of tech parts and other accessories for the 2023 official census project. This agreement further demonstrates the Federal Government’s commitment to promoting local content.

Zinox received the deal, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council and is valued over N85 billion (FEC). Zinox said in a statement that it has already started supplying the first batch of about 100,000 Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) devices needed for the nationwide enumeration. The company also stated that it was chosen as the preferred technical partner for the project following a rigorous bid process that included other local and foreign competitors.

Zinox was considered to have met the criteria as an indigenous technology titan with links on a worldwide scale, having continually enjoyed the confidence of top Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other global tech titans.

This, it was discovered, led to the Federal Government endorsing the initiative. Zinox deserves credit for helping the country’s voter registration drive in 2006 and 2010 when major foreign tech companies hired by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were unable to deliver on time.

Zinox laid the groundwork for Nigeria’s digital democracy with the help of their Z-Pad smart device, which INEC is now building upon. The successful completion of the over $200 million INEC contract in 2010 gave Zinox more momentum as a strong, competent domestic company.

Leo Stan Ekeh, chairman of the Zinox Group, claimed that the organization had established a system of honesty and a track record of achievement, both in Nigeria and abroad. Ekeh added that the nation cannot plan well until there is a reliable data census figure.

Additionally, Mrs. Kelechi Okonta, managing director of Zinox Technologies, stated: “It is an honor for the Federal Government to consider us among many other businesses in the world. They are aware of our capability. All of our resources are being used to ensure its success.

The Nigerian government will conduct its fifth census in 2023, which is scheduled to take place between March and April. The last census was conducted in 2006, during the presidency of President Olusegun Obasanjo, and it has been 17 years since then.

The NPC Chairman, Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra, stated that there would be no over-counting or under-counting during the 2023 census, and that the devices, when used in conjunction with the forms, maps, and other digital enhancements, would prevent enumerators from venturing outside of the designated areas. Additionally, he praised Zinox for the commitment, capacity, and dedication shown in how it has started the contract’s implementation.

In addition to complying with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order on local content and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) regulation on local Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the procurement of the PDA devices, he pointed out that the software (App) that would be used to enable and activate the PDAs was locally developed.

“With all the enhancements that the National Population Commission is providing the devices with, for example, 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 NPC Chairman said

 

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The geographical assets that NPC purchased will be installed on the hardware. This would guarantee that all Nigerians are counted regardless of where they reside. Additionally, we will be able to compile data on dwelling types and attributes for the government’s better physical and social planning of the country.

The Special Population, which includes nomads, migrants, people in transit, etc., will be counted with a geo-reference to where they are found at the time of the Census. The homeless will be counted, tied to their usual place of abode, and referenced with geo-coordinates. Because all Nigerians are counted, everyone will be included.

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