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ISPON reiterates need for deliberate policy for indigenous software, IT sector

The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has called for a deliberate policy that will boost the morale of indigenous software developers and grow the IT sector in general. ISPON made the call at its Presidential Dinner held in Lagos recently, noting that a critical look at Information Technology as a field of endeavor […]


The post ISPON reiterates need for deliberate policy for indigenous software, IT sector appeared first on Furiousforum.com.




The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has
called for a deliberate policy that will boost the morale of indigenous
software developers and grow the IT sector in general.





ISPON made the call at its Presidential Dinner held in
Lagos recently, noting that a critical look at Information Technology as a
field of endeavor reveals that the most important ingredient for a successful
(IT) industry is intellectual capital or knowledge and training of the
population in the IT field.





Thus, speakers at the Dinner unanimously agree that IT ecosystem should be for the country, the ingredients to
having viable IT economy and how to create sustainable IT Ecosystem





The former Minister of Communications Technology, Dr.
Omobola Johnson, who delivered the keynote paper at the dinner with the
theme:   Having An Inclusive IT Ecosystem  , said many
have questioned at international fora whether the African Digital
Transformation drive was a hype or a reality, but insisted that the drive
remained a reality for African countries, especially in Nigeria.





She, however urged the federal government of Nigeria to
come up with better policy and regulatory framework that will not stifle
technology growth in the country.





According to Johnson, “Nigerian government must focus
on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education to drive
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) education that will boost
digital transformation in Nigeria.





 Software stakeholders must collaborate with government to
design specific training on ICT for young Nigerian startups and government must
do everything possible to grow the country’s infrastructure in order to
facilitate national development.”





Citing China and India that have become strong forces for
global technology development, Johnson challenged ISPON to form a formidable
force that would promote inclusive IT ecosystem in the country.





The President of ISPON, Dr. Yele
Okeremi, decried that since the days of the oil boom, the fate of the Nigerian
economy became tied to the international price of crude oil: The economy became
buoyant when international oil prices rose and went into slowdown and even
recessions once the international price of crude fell or Nigeria became unable
to meet up with its production quota.





 The petroleum industry itself
became overly focused on the mere extraction of crude without any value added.





 The country has become
over-dependent on trading in primary goods with consequent implications on
employment, wealth creation and wealth distribution. It is a known fact in
scholarly circles that economies that operate in such manner end up exporting
its prosperity and in turn import poverty from other countries  .





Where We Should Be





From the aforementioned facts, Okeremi suggested that it is
now necessary for Nigeria to take a second look at its economic recovery
strategy if it is to achieve results and sustain such results.





 It is considered prudent for societies and economies to
encourage the creation of complex businesses, which create an environment for
its citizens to get engaged in meaningful work.





 It is in the light of this that I seek to present an
inclusive Information Technology ecosystem as a potential to lift the country
out of its current economic challenges  .





IT Ecosystem





He said that a critical look at Information Technology as a
field of endeavor reveals that the most important ingredient for a successful
Information Technology industry is intellectual capital or knowledge and
training of the population in the IT field.





 IT, particularly the software field can be pursued
effectively by countries that have a favorable age demographics, with a good
youth population and a sound education  , the ISPON president said.





He further proposed what the IT
ecosystem should be for the country, the ingredients to having viable IT
economy and how to create sustainable IT Ecosystem using the success of the
Silicon Valley as a bench mark.





 As the name implies, an ecosystem is a self-sustaining
system where all its participants create some form of value that is consumed by
some other members and all the players operate in a symbiotic manner. 





Inclusiveness    the Weapon





 There are several ways that a nation could catalyze its IT
ecosystem to achieve success and become self-reliant and ultimately be a net
contributor to the IT economy of the world. For a country like Nigeria that has
a high propensity for technology consumption and a suitable age demographic,
Nigeria can borrow a leaf from countries like China that catalyzed their industry
on the premises of local consumption. In other words, the country needs to come
up with a deliberate policy to encourage the mantra of producing what it
consumes and consume what it produces  .





He said that the ability to achieve this is quite simple by
following the money and studying which areas the country consumes the most
technology products.





 The country has every right to begin a simple policy of
import substitution. This will ensure the practitioners in the country are
automatically provided domestic market access  , he said. 


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