Operators decry software importation from Estonia, Sweden, India
Software practitioners in the country are seriously miffed by what they described as the increasing importation of foreign software from countries including Estonia, Sweden, India, among others.
The practitioners, under the aegis of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) said one of the major challenges identified and which they have consistently tackled has been the preference for foreign software by government and private firm, even when indigenous software are available and better suited for our clime and environment.
The outgone President of ISPON, James Emadoye, at a pre-AGM briefing at the weekend, in Lagos, said government should lead in the support of the ICT industry, and particularly by intentionally supporting made-in-Nigeria software and discourage acts capable of undermining the growth and advancement of the sector.
Emadoye, which revealed that IT currently contributes about 11 per cent to the country’s GDP, second to the agriculture, revealed that hundreds of thousands of jobs are being lost due to foreign software addiction.
Citing losses from the banking sector, which relied on foreign software, Emadoye said Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) at Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) is powered by software from Estonia with a population of 1.3 million people; Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) at OAGF is powered by a software from USA.
He revealed that Integrated Test Automation Solution (ITAS) at FIRS is powered by software from Canada, with a population 32. 6 million people; the Bank Verification Number (BVN) project at NIBSS is powered by software from Germany (Population of 82 million; Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) solution at CBN is powered by software from Sweden, which has a population of 9.9 million.
Emadoye, who noted that Federal Government’s Executive Orders 3 and 5 are not enough to address the gaps in Local Content development, revealed that the Nigerian banks patronise majorly software from India and Jordan. He said this has increased capital flights from the sector.
A yet to be confirmed report claimed that software capital flight in Nigeria has grown from N200 billion to N400 billion between 2012 and last year. But The Guardian gathered that a Federal Government agency earlier this year expended about N76 billion on ERP solutions from abroad.
Commenting on this, Emadoye said: “If a Nigerian firm handled the ERP solution, it would have created more jobs and stop capital flight.”
To the Chief Executive Officer, Precise Financial Systems, Dr. Yele Okeremi, Nigeria cannot continue to snub indigenous development and wants to grow.
Okeremi, who is the new president of ISPON, reminded the Federal Government that the wealth of any nation depends majorly on human capital that is well harnessed.
He stressed that to eradicate corruption at all fronts, “the easiest way is automation, which indigenous players in the country have mastered. For Nigeria to advance, we need to develop our local content and make it marketable, but first patronised by the government.”
Okeremi said ERP and financial accounting solutions, which could have been handled by local players for government, are handled to foreigners.
To the Managing Director, Upperlink, a software and e-payment solutions provider, Segun Akano, indigenous operators can offer services imported at a lower cost and with improved capability.
Akano, whose solution, PayChoice, which was launched in August 2016, won CBN’s Electronic Payments Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards, said the last five years had been very eventful for the software sector in the sense that there have been trainings and deeper developments of the players, which has seriously increased their efficiency and make them more competitive.
“Government must seriously encourage operators by creating an enabling environment for the players and solutions to thrive,” he stated.
No comments yet