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Stakeholders seek patronage of indigenous software


Worried by challenges to the development of indigenous software, stakeholders in that space met this week to seek ways to move software ecosystem forward, in order to build a strong software industry for the country.

The meeting was at the instance of National Information Technology Development agency (NITDA).

Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, director general of the agency, said that a developed indigenous software space will help the country to diversify its economy from oil which will in near future be irrelevant.

“The best software developers in the world are Nigerians, and the country is among 50 software countries in the world.”

He wondered why Nigerians don’t value or respect software codes written in the country, and attributed it to perception which needs to be changed.

“No country will develop with this kind of perception, what we develop we should make sure that it is used,” he added.

He cited a running battle between NITDA and Bank of Industry (BoI) over the later use of foreign software in its operation against the directive that no federal government agency should use foreign software.

“We pay attention to regulation at NITDA to ensure that what is produce in Nigeria is being patronized, this in turn will create employment opportunities through entrepreneurship,” he said.

Mrs. Moni Udoh, Director, ICT, Federal Ministry of Communications, tasked Nigerian software developers to develop software that will help in addressing security issues especially in protecting the country’s cyber space.

She said; “Our system has failed us but technology can assist us if we have the right technology. So, there is need to adopt the right technology in the development of ICT products and solutions.”

James Agada, managing director, CWG Plc, urged NITDA to streamline what the agency wants to achieve in the software space of the country and also have a database of indigenous software as well as protection of intellectual property.

Speaking on human capacity issues, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, Managing Director, InfoGraphics Nigeria, stressed the need to build a local content economy and that software should be geared towards building human capacity.

“Nigeria must expand its cloud to encompass all its generations wherever they may live, work and play. Nigeria is not educating enough of its people to power a digital economy. 78% stop formal education at JSS 2 lacking even digital literacy skills for self-help, entrepreneurship let alone innovation.

“In particular, it must enable its youths with the fundamental skills required to be participants in the 21st Century digital economy.

“Technology will be critical in offering national content for leveraging multiple learning modalities, so students can experience learning differentiated to their particular needs and learning styles,” he said.

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