Mr. Chris Uwaje, ISPON President
Worried by the abysmal neglect of indigenous software development by government, President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. Chris Uwaje, has said the software industry could generate N1.6 trillion ($10 billion) annually.
According to him “Nigeria can create at least one million jobs in the software sector within 24 months and earn an estimated $10billion annually after a critical incubation programme of 3-5years.”
Uwaje told THISDAY that the Nigeria Local Content Act 2010 was enacted as the quantum of composite value-added to stimulate growth of indigenous capacity, yet government has refused to give software development the desired facelift.
“Federal Government, through its Circular Reference No. SGF/OP/I/S.3/VII/795 of 2006 mandated all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to operate strictly on the patronage of Nigerian Developed Computer Software and services,” Uwaje said, but lamented the neglect on local software development.
He said indigenous software would boost the Nigerian economy, if given the right priority.
“In pursuit of global quality standards, ISPON, in April 2012 on behalf of Software Nigeria received an International Quality (QC 100) Award conferred on her by Arch of Europe at the Intercontinental Hotel in Frankfurt – Germany,” Uwaje said.
He added that the National Executive Council (NEC) of ISPON would continuously advocate software operational and transaction related information and data from organisations referenced in the Act, including banking and financial institutions, should have some levels of compliance with the Local Content Act 2010, with respect to the application of indigenous software.
“This is informed by the fact that government transformation agenda may not be effectively implemented unless indigenous software content and services delivery were given priority.”
Referring to the late Chijioke Simeon Agu as the senior advocate of local content in the Nigeria software space, Uwaje said he left many legacies behind on critical and strategic imperatives of indigenous software for national survivability.
“For the records, Simeon Agu, the Foundation President of ISPON who recently passed on, was the Great Lion of ICT-Nigeria, at whose words alone awakened an entire IT industry and whose presence inspired confidence in a fledgling industry to go forth and claim its due.
According to Uwaje, Agu was instrumental to development of Neptune Software, putting it on the platform to thrive globally, which he said, earned a strong reputation and built a rich history in delivering mission-critical core systems to the banking and financial services sector, end-to-end solutions to over 80 financial services institutions globally.