Director General, NITDA, Prof Cleopas Angaye
The Federal Government, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has set up an umbrella body that will oversee the implementation of the country’s outsourcing business.
The body is known as the Nigeria Association of Information Technology Enabled Outsourcing Companies (NAITEOCOM).
For a start, NITDA has set aside an office space and N20 million for the take-off of the body with assurance for further support in the nearest future.
The move to create a single umbrella association for Information Technology (IT) enabled outsourcing business is coming five years after the National Outsourcing Policy was formulated by government.
After the policy formulation in 2007, NITDA organised the first national outsourcing conference in August 2011, where the decision to form an umbrella body was taken.
Addressing members of the NAITEOCOM, Director -General of NITDA, Prof Cleopas Angaye, who was represented by NITDA’s director of software and outsourcing, Dr. Ashiru Daura, charged members of the body with the responsibility of : effectively facilitating advocacy efforts that would advance the development of outsourcing business in Nigeria; effectively utilising resources meant for outsourcing in the National Policy; effectively coordinating the monitoring and evaluation of the outsourcing sector; and to have an identity that interfaces with government and the rest of the world.
“The umbrella body is to replicate the likes of National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) of India and Ghana Association of Software and IT Services Companies (GASSCOM) of Ghana,” Angaye said.
Making reference to the impact of NASSCOM to the people of India, Angaye said the outsourcing body grew remarkably since 2001 with IT enabled outsourcing services in the country’s gross domestic products rising to 5.8 per cent in 2009, from 1.2 per cent in 1998, while export earnings in 2008 stood at approximately $40 billion with a yearly growth rate of 36 per cent. This, he said, raised the earnings from IT enabled outsourcing to $100 billion.
“In Nigeria, IT outsourcing is gradually growing and it is our belief that if the sector is well governed through the umbrella body, it will open doors for enhanced job creation, quick source of revenue for Nigeria and improved performance,” Angaye said.
The guest speaker at the event, Dr. Marito Garcia from World Bank, who was represented by Mr. Sorji Oyewole, hailed NITDA for the initiative and initial support for the Umbrella body.
According to him, over 200 outsourcing associations were already doing different kinds of outsourcing business in the country, independent of one another. He said the essence of a single body was to have one voice in outsourcing business in the country.
Chairman of the forum, who doubles as Director, Standards, Guidelines and Regulations for NITDA, Mr. Inye Kem-Abonta, said the umbrella body would be self-regulatory and must ensure speedy development in outsourcing business in Nigeria.
Members of the umbrella body were drawn from stakeholders in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.