Expert decries impact of foreign software on Nigeria’s economy
Chris Uwaje, the former president, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has expressed displeasure at government and corporate bodies’ fondness for foreign software.
Uwaje who is currently the co-chair for Publicity and Communications for Africa, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer -World Forum on Internet of Things (IEEE)-WFIoT, said although ISPON is not calling for outright ban on foreign software, however it is high time the government to save the nation from forex elusion and capital flight by engaging local firms with penchant for solutions to challenges peculiar to the country.
According to him, most foreign software deployed by multinationals in Nigeria have failed and could be likened to ‘rat poison’ due to the damages to the economy.
Speaking, specifically, on the place of local content & software as preventive tools for telcos to avoid regulator’s wrath, he said, “Local content has a significant role to play in the telecoms sector efficiency. Talking about ICT in general, services constitute about 2/3 of the market size; it is very labour intensive and there are policies for sustainability that should be adopted as models. One of the models with regards to telecoms which needs intensive support suggests that if you have 500,000 subscribers you build a call centre of about 180 attendants. If you have a magnitude of 20 to 40 million subscriber-base, you need to create call centres in support zones. That is why outsourcing centres are growing.
“India is servicing the world, because they meet the needs of the telcos. But the understanding is this: if the regulatory bodies have come together to ponder on critical mass of what needs to be done, before licensing, they should have laid down the ground rules. They should have anticipated the need for mobile phone assembly plants, knowing that at a time, 50 million mobile phones will be used in the country.
“So, the telcos, considering the factors of the licenses, will now sought for partners to help them fulfil the regulatory body’s requirements. So, these things ought to be aggregated in such manner that within the assembly plants sphere millions of people would have been engaged solving (professionally) the cases been solved today in such areas as Alaba, Compute village (Otigba), Aba, Enugu; these people ought to be in the factories.