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ISPON drums support for software developers, seeks new policies

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• Mba-Uzoukwu takes over from Okeremi as new president
the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), has rallied round developers in the country with a call on the Federal Government to create a more conducive environment for business development.

ISPON also called for policies that will drive economic growth and development in the country, especially at this time when organisations in Nigeria are re-skilling their workforce to meet the digital skills’ demand for transformation in the digital era.

Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, who is the newly-elected President of ISPON, made this call at the official take over from his predecessor, Dr. Yele Okeremi, in Lagos at the weekend.

Mba-Uzoukwu said change in policy will positively impact businesses in the era of new normal occasioned by the COVID-19, and the only way the country can move forward, and be abreast with new technology developments that are trending and shaping the globe.

According to him, most of the policies that currently govern technology businesses in Nigeria, were enacted as far back as the 1960s, hence the country has remained technologically backward.

Specifically, he said: “the country’s education policy is still based on analogue, while the world is now digital.”

Mba-Uzoukwu assured members of the Institute that ISPON under his tenure would be leading advocacy in this direction to ensure that Nigerian youths get the right education to be able to function and excel in the digital world.

According to him, though the new executives were coming on board at a time the country and indeed the world are faced with COVID-19 pandemic, he however, explained that it was an auspicious time to make the transition to knowledge-based economy and that software remained at the forefront of such transition.

“The ‘new normal’ has become the in-thing today, but we seem to speak about it with uncertainty. Therefore, it is our responsibility as part of the ecosystem to create that ‘new normal’. Often we are marred in negativity as a consumer nation that is dependent on imports.

“It is our responsibility to write this history. The situation brought about by COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with a historic opportunity to reset and reimagine what we can do and begin to tell that story in the manner that people can believe in the local software,” Mba-Uzoukwu said.

He called on Nigerians to support and encourage ISPON members and software developers in Nigeria by patronising indigenous software, which he said, needed the encouragement of industry stakeholders and the government to grow big.

In his handover speech, Okeremi said: “ISPON has continued to engage successive governments to implement policies and provide support that will ensure the development of the Nigerian software industry.”

He admonished the new president to keep this going and ensure a clear and consensus voice to educate the government and policymakers on the need to embrace ‘developed-in-Nigeria’ software, adding that the inclusion of the younger generation in the technology ecosystem is becoming an important aspect of ISPON’s activities.

“We know that these are the days of the younger people. I will encourage you and your team to pay attention to having programmes that will bring these young people into our fold,” Okeremi advised, while highlighting the need for the new leadership of ISPON to work with relevant stakeholders.

Some other members of the new ISPON National Executive Council include: Chuks Onyebuchi as 1st Vice President; Bimbo Abioye as 2nd Vice President; Lanre Adelanwa as General Secretary; Dr. Abiodun Falade as Treasurer; Peter Ogedengbe as Chair, Membership Committee; Wahab Sarumi as Chair, Policy and Strategy Committee.


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