IPSON PRESIDENT, Chris Uwaje
By Emma Okonji
The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has expressed worry over the increasing rate of foreign software importation and consumption by Nigerians, which it said had reached an alarming rate of 95 per cent.
President of ISPON, Chris Uwaje, said: “It is becoming worrisome that Nigerians still stick to the importation and consumption of foreign software to the detriment of local software developers, who make frantic efforts to develop local software that meets international standards.”
Uwaje, who spoke at this year’s ISPON President Dinner organised by the software institute in Lagos at the weekend, said the importance of software development to a nation remained huge and urged Nigerians to believe in locally developed software and patronise them.
However, to address the imbalance, Uwaje said ISPON had concluded arrangements to restructure the National Software Ecosystem (NSES), aimed at recognising, empowering and harnessing the opportunities of software Nigeria.
To achieve the expected feat, Uwaje said ISPON initiated the development of software applications among start-ups, designed at empowering Nigerian youth into digital entrepreneurship.
“The initiative is a functional response by the co-chairman, Presidential Committee on Broadband Development, Mr. Jim Ovia, who is the founder of Jim Ovia Foundation in ICT. The initiative is to resolve the missing link in the nation’s knowledge capacity development space, by invigorating a proactive strategy to enthrone software start-ups,” Uwaje said.
The prize for software excellence dedicated to start-ups is domiciled under the leadership of ISPON and represents perhaps, the most ambitious Information and Communications Technology (ICT) knowledge initiative to date, Uwaje said. He explained that the initiative was designed to recognise and mentor the ‘Best Start-ups of the Year’ and ensure that Nigeria becomes a force to reckon with in the global software development and entrepreneurship landscape.
Highlighting the importance of software to national development, Uwaje said computer software had become a critical element of modern society, with global reach and impact on virtually every aspect of human endeavour.
ISPON, he said, keyed into the opportunity to develop start-ups among Nigerian youths in software development.
Highlight of the ISPON Presidential Dinner was the award of start-ups who won at a recent software competition organised by institute. Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar won the ‘Best Software Startup of the Year’. They designed a software application called ‘Pledge 51,’ which is aimed to serve as catalyst and to address some gaps that have made it difficult for cutting edge mobile technology innovation to emerge from Africa.
The first runner-up, Nkemdilim Uwaje and Oyehmi Begho, developed a software application called ‘Future Software Resources’
The second runner-up, Saheed Adepoju, and Anibe Agamah, developed the Encipher Inye Tab, referred to as the Nigerian iPad. The three groups were presented with plaques and monetary rewards that will enable them further develop their products.