" ITREALMS: Uwaje advocates for national software directory

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Uwaje advocates for national software directory

President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) Mr. Chris Uwaje, has advocated for the establishment of National Software Directory on all software in use in the country, reports CHARLES OKOH.

Uwaje said that this would cover both the foreign and local, currently in circulation in the country, in order to make it mandatory for all software domiciled in Nigeria to be registered with Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Speaking at the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) organized National Information Technology Expo (NITEX-10), he said that except a national policy on software is precisely developed, Nigeria would remain a dumping ground leading to continued capital flight from the country.

He said every software-exporting country has evolved a unique industry, shaped by its own resources and situation and by the particular global opportunities presented at the time, insisting that no software in the world is perfect and that except the nation develops her own master plan no other nation would do it for her.

Uwaje, who also called for graduated ban on software applications that could be sourced locally by government agencies and parastatals, noted that it would allow for growth of the local industry.

He equally said the country should target an average of 5,000 software graduates annually to prepare her for the new information age.

Uwaje who dwelt on the Imperatives for a national software policy, last week said that a national master plan for software development, for instance would show the roadmap to leapfrog and avoid the nation from being a 21st century digital colony.

He also charged the government to advise and use moral persuasion to make private sector look inwards and possibly grant incentives to them for procuring and using indigenous application software.

Uwaje who is also the Managing Director of Connect Technologies Limited, added that imported software applications in private and public sectors, under the scheme, should in three years be subjected to high taxation if they are procured with foreign exchange.

According to him, the masterplan would afford the engagement and preparation of the nation for the challenges, risks and opportunities of the emerging knowledge society.

“To act as a vehicle for accelerated capacity building and creation of wealth through software development as well as ensure that Nigeria does not become a 21st century digital colony,” he said.

Today, Uwaje said, the global software industry has continued to evolve dramatically and countries who now aspire to develop their software exports face different and critical globally challenging situations.

“They are therefore, likely to evolve fundamentally different software industries. The current shape and dynamics of the software industry should inform ICT planning and policy, no matter the country’s stage of economic development,” he said.

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