Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson
Following the low patronage of locally-developed software by Nigerians, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has moved to attract foreign customers .
To achieve this, ISPON has called on the Federal Government to consider the establishment of a trade promotion website at the planned incubation centres for Nigerian software development. The trade website, according to ISPON, would help local software developers to search for foreign customers and woo them into local software patronage.
President of ISPON, Mr. Chris Uwaje, told THISDAY that the idea would help local software developers shift market focus to areas of possible patronage.
President of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Mr. Demola Aladekomo, also told THISDAY that the best way to go about local software patronage was for government to encourage local content development in all facets of software development and usage in the country.
Uwaje called on government to urgently exploit the capability of Nigerians in Diaspora to find markets, build relationships, invest in indigenous software and represent the indigenous software producers at those markets.
Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, had said that government was planning to establish incubation centres in all the six geopolitical zones, for the nurturing of software applications and ideas that would drive development in the country, and ISPON is already thinking of how to better utilise the centres in order to promote patronage of local software.
“Government should encourage and create a fair economic environment for all software entrepreneurs. Facilitation of the investment environment of software enterprises should significantly be accelerated. Great support for big Information Technology (IT) investors in general and software industry in particular should be offered, together with incubating new software start-up companies,” Uwaje advised.
Uwaje who called for national IT Training Policy, said the policy must include training resources for IT in general, and for the software industry in particular, training programmers, project implementation managers and business administrators.
“For the software industry to succeed and progress, we must develop the National Information Infrastructure (NII) with modern technology. The NII shall have nationwide coverage, high bandwidth and high quality at the same level. Government should encourage and prioritise the provision of special software enterprises for internet access,” he said.
Optimistic of the worth of local software, Uwaje said the software industry in Nigeria could generate N1.6 trillion annually, if the right and enabling environment are created with the right support from government and corporate organisations.
He said indigenous software could boost the Nigerian economy, if given the right priority, adding that the National Executive Council (NEC) of ISPON will continuously advocate local software patronage until government, corporate bodies and individuals give it a listening ear.