Indigenous software developer, SystemSpecs, has urged the federal government to refocus its attention on information communication technology (ICT) for speedy economic growth in light of dwindling oil prices on the international market.
Executive Director of the company, Deremi Atanda, who was a guest on CNBC Africa’s mid-belt programme Power Lunch recently, observed that there was a gap between ICT and government’s fiscal policies, which the current administration’s implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) had addressed to a large extent. He, however, added that there was much room for improvement in the face of ongoing developments locally and internationally.
Nigeria is reportedly lagging behind in the global ICT market share considering that the sector contributes over 10 per cent to the nation’s GDP and can potentially overtake South Africa as the continent’s largest ICT market with more investments.
“There is still a dearth of information, as well as the challenge of connecting information technology (IT) with governance and national economic policy. But I am glad the current minister of communication has the path charted already. Things are being put in place, the industry bodies are also getting to be better structured and we are just very hopeful. Now that Nigeria is out of oil, technology is the next best thing,” he said.
SystemSpecs invented the Remita software, which powers the federal government’s acclaimed TSA policy, said to have instilled fiscal discipline and accountability, and returned over N3 trillion to the national coffers since it was adopted by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on September 15, 2015.
However, SystemSpecs is still being owed its one per cent service charge, to be shared in an agreed formula with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Despite the setback, Atanda maintained that SystemSpecs remains undaunted considering the positive changes that its software has made in Nigeria’s financial landscape.
“We have taken this challenge upon ourselves for the sake of other IT entrepreneurs. It has not been easy going ahead without being paid for several months, but we know that once this is sorted out, it charts the path for others coming into the market,” he said.