Monday, November 28, 2011

Stakeholders review draft software policy

Stakeholders in the nation’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, last Friday, commenced the review of a draft software policy.

The event organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), witnessed the submissions of the draft software policy by a national committee set up on December 2010.

Chairman of the 21-man committee, Prof. Charles Akinyokun, said that the team was inaugurated on December 6, 2010 were drawn from the stakeholders’ organization including government through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, NITDA, Institute of Software Practitioners (ISPON), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) and civil societies.

He also commended his committee members for working within the mandates given to the group, while expressing their appreciation to NITDA for the opportunity given to the Committee to serve the nation.

The outcome of which, he said, would help in stimulating investment and job creation within the IT industry and software subsector particularly.

In his address to the occasion, Director-General, NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Angaye, said that the inauguration of the committee was based on the recognition of the fact that ICT has been globally accepted as the major tool for sustainable socio-economic development in the current global economy, underscoring the fact that software development is the engine of this powerful tool.

“It is apparent that the software industry no doubt is of utmost importance to future competitiveness for economies across the globe, especially with its halo effect in creating related business opportunities,” he said.

Angaye pointed out that for Nigeria to effectively participate in the new globally economy, there is need to develop a robust software policy with appropriate implementation strategies.

According to him, during the national retreat organized by the National Software Policy Committee, some 11 months ago, noting that in a study of the economic impact of the software industry in SouthEast Asia countries, it was discovered that there was a conservative multiplying economic effect of about .17 for upstream and downstream industries.

“End-user industries also benefit enormously from reduced cost, increased productivity and increased business opportunities,” he said.

Further, he pointed out that Nigeria has tried some initiatives to enhance the software industry in the recent past, adding that these efforts include the National Software Development Initiative, National Software Development Taskforce and the national IT policy.

Despite these, he said Nigeria has not been able to adequately explore the full potentials of the industry in a way to make software Nigeria a major player in the global software industry.

“You will agree with me that the work of this committee is very apt and of utmost importance to the current administration’s Transformation Agenda,” he declared.

Special Adviser to the Minister of Communications Technology, Mr. Ola Ogunneye, disclosed that the Ministry has received the ICT policy.

“The policy on ICT is ready and has been submitted to the minister and we are here to observe and ensure that we are all working on the same page,” he said.

The minister, he said, is thinking of software laboratories where Nigeria could incubate the youths on software development.

He encouraged participants to critic the draft policy on software.

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