Stakeholders urge regulation to boost indigenous software adoption
Indigenous software practitioners in the country have expressed worry over what they called absence of regulation to implement policies aimed at encouraging indigenous software in the country.
Speaking on the side line at an event to appreciate Dr.DanAzumi Ibrahim, director general, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in Lagos for his efforts to encourage participation of indigenous software in the economy, Bimbo Abioye, Group managing director, FinTrak Software said: “As developers of application in Nigeria, the challenge that we have is absence of regulation, despite coming up with products that are even better and have been successfully deployed where foreign options have failed still for whatever reasons operators would opt for foreign software.
“Even for mere travelling abroad for training, it is as small as that. For technical training which allows them to go shopping and collect estacode both in the private and public sectors.
“Where under heavens foreign solutions are to be acquired, technical training must happen in Nigeria. Because our hearts bleed when we see what happens and at eNigeria 2017 I made one comment, that Nigeria ranks among the poorest nations on earth despite the abundant resources and one index that was given to us is that Nigeria is also ranking first among the most foolish nations on earth.
“Because it is difficult to expect that when you spend $1billion every year enriching foreign nations, providing employment overseas, why won’t your youths be unemployed and they are finding job in Kidnapping and other crimes and nobody is immune from that.“Where ever foreign software will be bought for whatever reason there should be software import tax which should be punitive as high as 35 per cent. When I go to Ghana they tax my software 33 per cent. We can use this fund to develop the ecosystem and provide single digit loan for software companies in Nigeria.
Chuks Onyebuchi, chief executive officer, Union Systems, urged regulators of software solutions in the country to set agenda of replacing foreign software with indigenous software within a period of time.“Lets give all the foreign software in Nigeria between 5 to 8 years and give local software companies a mandate of eight years to develop all foreign systems being used in Nigeria, at the expiration of the mandate any company running a foreign software will pay a huge tax or will drop the system.
“We need to take a very serious approach to this; it is not something we have to be playing lip service. The document presented by the National Software Think Tank, if NOTAP and NITDA can really see that it is implemented, I think Nigeria software ecosystem will be better for it.
Olusola Tenisola, president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said that young Nigerians have developed application in artificial intelligence, Mi and Blockchain technology and need opportunities to take those solutions and skills to different sectors and one of them is telecom,“where at the moment we have heavy presence of the Chinese software and hardware even as telecom is critical to the development of our country,” he said.