Presidency Tasks NCS on Technology Innovation

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Emma Okonji

The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body for all information technology (IT) professionals in the country, has been enjoined to come up with new technology solutions and innovation that will drive technology development across all sectors of the economy.

At its 26th national conference, which held in Abuja recently, the computer professional body was asked to come up with technology solutions that are innovative and could address the challenges faced by Nigerians on a daily basis, since they belong to a group of IT professionals that is recognised in the country.

The Special Assistant to the Vice President on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Ife Adebayo, who gave the challenge, said Nigerians cannot continue to suffer from technology underdevelopment when the country has a group of IT professionals that could design technology solutions to address individual and organisational needs across all sectors of the economy.

“Nigerians are faced with a lot of challenges ranging from the over 50 million unbanked Nigerians, delays at registration with Corporate Affairs Commission, delays in the registration of driver’s licence, delays in traffic, to challenges with online services. We therefore need simple and basic solutions to address all these issues and the NCS should rise up to the challenges,” Adebayo said.

Responding, NCS president, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu, who is a lecturer at the Computer Science Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, said NCS is aware of the challenges facing the country. He agreed that locally developed technology solutions could address the challenges. He, however, explained that NCS had already begun the processes that would address innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.

“NCS is trying to put up several innovation hubs in the country that will groom technology start-ups into developing technology solutions that will help address the challenges of the country,” Aderounmu said. According to him, the innovation hubs, when established, would ease the challenge of unemployment. He added that NCS had concluded arrangements to provide scholarships for Nigerians studying technology courses at various universities in order to bridge the gap between the industry and technology graduates.

Disturbed by the challenges facing the country, which can be solved with technology solutions, NCS has set up a Business Start-Up Facilitation Initiative (BSFI), to address some of the challenges.
According to NCS, the initiative would facilitate the fast tracking of IT-flavoured businesses conceived and contemplated by any member of NCS.

In order to give effect to the initiative, NCS has called for expressions of interest from interested NCS members. Participation is open to three categories of members, which include Prospective Investors/Shareholders in any of the contemplated business venture; Membership of Steering Committee; and Individuals or groups with innovative ideas that are well suited for fast tracking and transformation into viable business ventures.

The BSFI was articulated to provide a platform for the canvassing and collation of innovative IT-flavoured ideas that are capable of being transformed into business ventures, develop and popularise mechanisms and processes that will promote collaborative relationships among prospective entrepreneurs, facilitate relevant and appropriate acquisition of skills and skill sets that may empower and enhance capacities for subsequent management of operations, and provide avenues for the engagement of prospective start-ups with potential sources of venture capital.