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NITDA identifies roadblocks to indigenous software development

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Director General (NITDA), Pantami. Photo/Twitter/nitdanigeria


National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has identified stiff competition from foreign developers as the bane of software development in Nigeria.

The agency, which is responsible for the regulation and development of the information technology in Nigeria, said “off-the-shelf software” from foreign developers deny local producers the opportunity to grow.

Isa Ibrahim Pantanmi, director general, NITDA who stated this in Abuja said his agency is working to change the situation by evolving software testing and information system security best practices.

Speaking while opening a stakeholders’ engagement for the review of the Guidelines for Information Systems Audit and Nigeria Software Testing Guidelines, he said the local industry is not reaping the growth in IT investment.

The director general was represented at the event by Vincent Olatunji, NITDA’s director of e-Governance and Regulatory.“The acquisition of technology-driven solutions to drive growth in the public and private sectors has continued to increase in Nigeria.

“The indigenous software market has not been left out of this growth trend, but continues to suffer stiff competition from foreign off-the-shelf software used to meet local needs, where indigenous software could have provided the appropriate solutions,” he said.

Quoting unnamed industry analysts, the NITDA CEO said the trend has affected the growth of the local software sector, “which by now should be in excess of probably $10 billion annually if well harnessed”.He attributed the low patronage of local developers to quality assurance challenges.

Mr Ibrahim said the two new regulatory documents will help in addressing some of the challenges.“The Nigerian Software Testing Guidelines (NSTG) is developed on the premise that mitigating software vulnerability risks through the promotion of structured software testing practice for safety and quality of software development will create the enabling environment for growth of the indigenous testing sector in Nigeria,” he said.

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Isa Ibrahim PantanmiNITDA
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