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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Uwaje advocates localization of passwords by Africans - ITREALMS


The Chairman, Mobile Software Solutions Limited, and former President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Chief Chris Uwaje, has advocated that Nigerians and indeed Africans should leverage local languages in creating passwords for their digital devices, reports ITREALMS.

He gave this advice at the third quarterly forum of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) in Lagos at the weekend, with the theme: Local Content Development in Nigeria’s ICT Sector: Stimulant for National Economic Recovery.”

ITREALMS gathered there are over 520 languages spoken in Nigeria alone, while the major languages are Igbo, Urhobo, Hausa, Yoruba, Ibibio, Fulfulde, Edo, Pidgin English, Ijaw, Kanuri, and Tiv, to name a few. Out of 520, nine was reported to have gone extinct.

As said by him, Nigerians and Africans as a whole need to re-identify themselves by changing their electronic device passwords, to make it somewhat difficult for hackers, because they have to contend with various African languages, outside adding special characters and numbers.

“We need to re-identify ourselves by changing our passwords so that whoever will hack you will need to first learn your language,” he declared.

Uwaje popular known as the Oracle of the Nigerian IT Industry, also said that software is a language not only a code, stressing that capacity building for local content emancipation should come from bottom-up, starting from kindergartens, primary schools, post-primary schools and tertiaries.

He also urged the various industry regulators to catch-up with disruptive tendencies within the ICT sector, Uwaje pointed out that services, constitute two-third of ICT sector, and advised that services should not be outsourced to foreigners.

Equally, Uwaje identified collaboration as the missing link in stimulating local content for development for national economic recovery.

Therefore, he asked Nigeria to declare what the nation wants to achieve out of technology, that way its goals and mission could be streamlined towards achieving same.

ITREALMS recalled that NITRA, established since November 2013 serves as the umbrella body of all practicing ICT journalists in Nigeria, cutting across the print, broadcast and online media, with a vision to drive ICT development and ensure accurate and robust ICT reportage.

NITRA chairman, Mr. Emma Okonji in his opening speech, said that in line with this noble vision, the association decided to make it a point of duty to organize quarterly seminar, where issues of national interest will be discussed.

According to him, since the incursion of financial technology (FinTech) players into the polity, has led to digital disruption in the banking sector and Nigeria has witnessed the growth of several FinTech and technology startups.

FinTechs and startups, he said, have developed home grown technology solutions with the best of quality and are commercially viable in addressing specific and organizational challenges, but they lack support and patronage from the government agencies and organisations who still prefer foreign software and hardware solutions to the detriment of locally developed products.

NITRA, therefore, called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency, formulate new policies and ensure full implementation of such policies that will protect local content in Nigeria.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Pix: Chief Chris Uwaje

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