Encouraging local capacity: Create software business desk with N5b loan for developers, ISPON tells BOI

While condemning over dependency on the importation of software products by both the public and the private sectors of the Nigerian economy, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON, has said it was time the Bank of Industry comes out fully to create software Business Desk with N5 billion revolving loan to develop the software sector. Regretting that Nigerians have been largely enslaved to importation of foreign products even in the face of economy recession, the ISPON President, James Emadoye in his new year message at the weekend in Lagos said that, “We cannot depend on other nations to do it for us and we cannot wait to experience collapse or serious hacking that can crumble the economy within seconds because we put out national information trust in the hands of foreigners.” This follows recent 2016 Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB mass failure attributed to imported technology. The president of ISPON warned that it was dangerous to allow foreign software to be dominant in the country’s businesses, government, education and the military. Noting that the year 2016 had held a lot of hope for Nigeria with over N16 billion budgeted for Computer Software Acquisition, he said that the IT profession had hoped that significant progress would have been made in the uses and enthronement of Software Nigeria. Chris uwaje, Ibrahim Pantami and James Emadoye It would be recalled that the former ISPON President, Chris Uwaje in his book e- knowledge book, ‘’Time is running’, had predicted that within the digital context, development opportunities and possibilities of 21st Century, digital colonization will occur and digital colonies will spring up. He warned that digital colonization of nations, through the interfacing global impact of Information Technology is most likely to hit Nigeria like a Tsunami, unless robust political will is brought to bear on the issue as a matter of topmost urgency. According to Emadoye, “The profession and the industry are in agreement that software Nigeria must be developed and the capacity to meet the software needs of the country is readily available if the thirst for foreign software can be eliminated from our system. The country must patronize software Nigeria. “I am sure we all still remember what software was in the late 80’s when it was all text based without pictures. Today, we have pictures, videos and full biometrics and so on. Maturity development comes with continuous uses”, According to the ISPON President, Software Nigeria has the capacity to launch Nigeria into the new age where technology prevails in all human endeavours. While lamenting that millions of foreign exchange are paid to foreign software solutions that would have created several employment opportunities for the teaming jobless Nigeria, he said that the general verdicts were that the industry did not have any impact of the huge budget nor did it feel the impact of the government differently from norms in Nigeria. He noted that  no foreign products can meet Nigerian requirements fully, adding that software are sensitive matters that affect the security of the country. “It is therefore dangerous to allow foreign software to be dominant in our businesses, government, education and the military. “Government through the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, must put in more effort to ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs patronize Nigerian Software in the real terms of the word. “ Nigeria as a country is large enough and far more resourceful and should be able to meet her needs for all nature of software locally. Depending on importation of foreign products, he warned would always put the country in danger of all sorts. “We may never be able to stand up in the comity of nations when discussing security issues. The way forward, according to him, would be for government to challenge indigenous software developers to develop solutions to solve local problems.