FG considers law to support indigenous software
Worried by inability of executive orders to achieved the desire impact of promoting use of local skills as well as patronage of indigenous software, the federal government has resolved to pursue a legislation to assist in achieving its goal in this regard, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek has learnt.
This was fallout of recent meeting between Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy and members of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) in Abuja.
According Dr.Yele Okeremi, president, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), “what I see from the outcome of the meeting as most pressing according to the minister is working together to move beyond executive orders, rather than executive orders having legislations to guarantee development of software in Nigeria.
“That to me is the most interesting and actionable outcome of the meeting, there are several other outcomes which are not really new, anybody can say give preference to indigenous software which is what executive orders 3 and 5 are trying to address.
“When it becomes legislation, it means it can be enforced. I think that is a very good move. Other things that have been said, is close interactions between government side and private sector which is good. I also heard about interaction between academia and the industry, these has been challenges people have been discussing, I think the big deal is having that legislation if that will come on stream I will say we have achieved something really nice.
Responding on whether government agrees on pushing for legislation, Dr. Okeremi said: “Actually we didn’t have the minister’s buy-in, it was the minister that solicited our buy-in to having legislation. You know the minister has been around for a while from DG NITDA he has that benefit of having seen some of the challenges and he said having run some of the challenges in NITDA where it got to a level they were calling EFCC to detain some chief executives of MDAs for flaunting the executive orders, he realized that the best way to make this work is by legislation. I hope it works.
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.