" ITREALMS: ‘FG should encourage quality software packaging’

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

‘FG should encourage quality software packaging’

Chief executive, Connect Technologies Limited, Chief Chris Uwaje, has urged the Federal Government to encourage the development of quality software documentation and packaging.

Chief Uwaje who spoke in Lagos at a one-day session on Finance and Information Technology (IT), said that this encouragement is important to enable conformity of local software development to the international standard.

“Toward this end, there is need for professionals to focus on specialised areas,” he declared.

For him, software is a lifeblood of information society, stressing that software plays a fundamental role and should be seen as a backbone of modern wealth creation and national security.

He also called for the setting up of a national software development policy and awareness agenda, which is also against the backdrop that building software capacities presents immense economic opportunities for nation building.

Chief Uwaje, who is the first vice president, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) disclosed that Nigeria could earn about $10 billion in foreign exchange annually from the software industry.

He said that the impact of unregulated foreign software operations and incursions in the Nigerian technology and knowledge domain is immense.

He defined indigenous software as “all types and versions of software developed in Nigeria by a company or companies and its Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) owned by Nigerians, in Nigeria, where funds repatriation out of Nigeria is not required.”

He pointed out that the future of all national development lies in information systems bequeathed to the country, hence software is the heart of development in this century.

He lamented the level of software development in Nigeria, saying that it lacks in the areas of research, design and development platform and technology incubation.

“Nigeria is at best, described as light years away from mastering heavy industries as experiences in the industrial revolution has portrayed,” he said.

This, he highlighted, makes Nigeria as a country incapable of manufacturing such common technology products as an automobile, airplane or even a simple motorbike or bicycle.

“Above all, importation of foreign software currently costs Nigeria more than $1 billion in foreign exchange, some of which constitute a colossal waste and national security issues.

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