The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) have called for deliberate policies which would help grow the IT industry in Nigeria and boost the morale of indigenous developers.
The call was made at the Institute’s Presidential Dinner held on Friday, April 26, 2019 in Lagos. Speakers at the event unanimously agreed that the IT ecosystem should be the ingredients to having a viable IT economy and creating a sustainable IT Ecosystem
A former Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, who delivered the keynote paper at the dinner urged the federal government to come up with better policy and regulatory framework that will not stifle technology growth in the country.
“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. Government must do everything possible to grow the country’s infrastructure in order to facilitate national development.”
Dr OmobolaJohnson, Former Minister of Communications Technology.
Dr Johnson also challenged ISPON to evolve into a formidable force that would promote inclusive IT ecosystem for the country.
President of ISPON, Dr. Yele Okeremi, decried the nation’s over-dependence on crude oil to the detriment of more lasting and futuristic resources like IT and software developing. This has made the country blind to see beyond primary goods and commodities.
“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,” the ISPON president said.
Dr Okeremi insisted 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. The president then prescribed an inclusive Information Technology ecosystem as a solution to lift the country out of its current economic challenges.
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.”Dr. Yele Okeremi, President of ISPON.
The ISPON also remarked that like China, Nigeria has a population that could consume its own technology, thus making it self-reliant in that field.
“For a country like Nigeria that has a high propensity for technology consumption and a suitable age demographics, Nigeria can borrow a leaf from countries like China that catalyzed their industry on the premises of local consumption,” he said.
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.
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