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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Made-in-Nigeria software needs support – Angaye

Chief executive of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye, has said that in order to standardise indigenous software industry, the sub-sector needs the support of every stakeholders.

Speaking at the just concluded e-Nigeria forum, organised by NITDA in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Prof. Angaye reiterated the readiness of the federal government to work in partnership with the Information Technology (IT) professionals so as to standardise locally developed software.

To this extent, he said that government is tinkering on instituting compulsory software testing for all indigenous developed software products.

“Efforts to drive the patronage of made-in-Nigeria software project had yielded little dividend because of issues of quality and lack of standard in a lot of the available indigenous software products,” he said.

Just as he pointed out that the government has begun the search for alternative initiatives that would enable it acquire the needed support to make Made-in-Nigeria software acceptable and successful.

“There is need to set up appropriate mechanism for quality assurance and global standard for testing and certification of software developed in Nigeria,” he declared.

According to him, the fundamental nature of the testing is to help indigenous software developers attain products that meet international standard thereby becoming competitive globally.

He attributed this process to the reason behind the success of Indian software in recent times on the international outlook.

Also speaking, Managing Consultant at TC-QA & Associates, Mr. Akinwale Akingbade, said that software testing involves technical investigations done to expose quality performance-related issues about a given software product.

He stressed that software testing is critical, and serves not to allow low quality products reaching the customers or users as its a process of exercising or evaluating a system both manually and automatically to verify that it satisfies specified requirements or to identify differences between expected and actual results.

Equally speaking at the forum, national president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, called on the federal government to draw up a framework for local content for the telecom sector.

For there to be growth in local content in the nation’s telecom sector, he said, the government would need to apply the same enthusiasm, passion and interest as it is currently giving the matter in the oil and gas sector.

Local content, he said, means the utilisation of the Nigerian people and material resources in the manufacture, deployment and development of telecom equipment, products and accessories in nation’s market space.

Dr. Ekuwem also revealed that talks with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) availed that a lot of the plastic casing and steel infrastructure used in the telecom industry could be produced locally.

In addition, Managing Consultant, Kemson Concept, Mr. Ben Aduli, stated that there is need for a strategic local content policy as well as incentives to encourage investors who want to establish manufacturing and fabrication plants in the country.

He noted that the need for a local content policy which must not only be strategic but also go beyond the telecom industry and integrate the manufacturing sector, particularly the steel and chemicals.

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