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Stakeholders Seek Patronage of Indigenous Software

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Worried by challenges to the development of indigenous software, stakeholders in that space met this week to seek ways to move software ecosystem forward, in order to build a strong software industry for the country.

 

The meeting was at the instance of National Information Technology Development agency (NITDA).

 

Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, director general of the agency, said that a developed indigenous software space will help the country to diversify its economy from oil which will in near future be irrelevant.

 

“The best software developers in the world are Nigerians, and the country is among 50 software countries in the world.”

 

He wondered why Nigerians don’t value or respect software codes written in the country, and attributed it to perception which needs to be changed.

 

“No country will develop with this kind of perception, what we develop we should make sure that it is used,” he added.

 

He cited a running battle between NITDA and Bank of Industry (BoI) over the later use of foreign software in its operation against the directive that no federal government agency should use foreign software.

 

“We pay attention to regulation at NITDA to ensure that what is produce in Nigeria is being patronized, this in turn will create employment opportunities through entrepreneurship,” he said.

 

Mrs. Moni Udoh, Director, ICT, Federal Ministry of Communications, tasked Nigerian software developers to develop software that will help in addressing security issues especially in protecting the country’s cyber space.

 

She said; “Our system has failed us but technology can assist us if we have the right technology. So, there is need to adopt the right technology in the development of ICT products and solutions.”

 

James Agada, managing director, CWG Plc, urged NITDA to streamline what the agency wants to achieve in the software space of the country and also have a database of indigenous software as well as protection of intellectual property.

 

Speaking on human capacity issues, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, Managing Director, InfoGraphics Nigeria, stressed the need to build a local content economy and that software should be geared towards building human capacity.

 

“Nigeria must expand its cloud to encompass all its generations wherever they may live, work and play. Nigeria is not educating enough of its people to power a digital economy. 78% stop formal education at JSS 2 lacking even digital literacy skills for self-help, entrepreneurship let alone innovation.

 

“In particular, it must enable its youths with the fundamental skills required to be participants in the 21st Century digital economy.

 

“Technology will be critical in offering national content for leveraging multiple learning modalities, so students can experience learning differentiated to their particular needs and learning styles,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

ISPON Makes Case for CPN Affiliates on NITDA’s Board

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Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), one of the affiliate bodies of the Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), is worried about the continued absence of CPN representatives on the Board of Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), months after the inauguration of its board members, describing the situation as unconstitutional and lopsided.

 

While NITDA is the government agency responsible for the implementation of the country’s policies on Information Technology (IT), CPN is a government agency saddled with the responsibility of registering and controlling all IT practitioners in the country.

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The NITDA Act states that four CPN representatives would be on the NITDA Board, which are selected from each affiliate member of CPN, of which ISPON is one of them.

 

This has been the tradition since the inception of NITDA, until this year, when the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu inaugurated the NITDA Board without CPN and its affiliate members, a situation that is giving ISPON and other affiliate members of CPN, some concerns.

 

Worried about the continuous absence of CPN members on NITDA Board, ISPON has called on the minister to quickly address the situation and correct the imbalance, inline with NITDA’s Act.

 

The former President of ISPON, James Emadoye who raised the concern during the official handing over of the administration of ISPON to the incoming President, Dr. Yele Okeremi in Lagos recently, urged the minister to revisit the inauguration and ensure that CPN members are on the Board of NITDA.

 

Okeremi who saw the situation as loss of permanent seats by the CPN, promised to engage the minister until the matter is resolved.

 

Narrating the circumstances that led to the absence of CPN members on NITDA’s Board, Emadoye said: “It is the responsibility of the minister to inaugurate members of the NITDA Board and the minister had called for the list from CPN, which was sent to him before the inauguration, but along the line NITDA instead on quota basis for the selection process and that someone from the North-west must be on the board, which negates the NITDA Act that clearly states that four professionals representing each of the geopolitical group will be nominated to the NITDA Board.

 

Emadoye insisted it was not proper to neglect the affiliates in the inauguration of NITDA Board and called on the minister to revisit the issue and address it amicably.

 

The Minister of Communications had in March this year, inaugurated a team of 16 board members that will drive the affairs of NITDA, without the four representatives from CPN.

 

Since then, stakeholders from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, have criticised the omission of CPN nominees, while blaming it on NITDA, whom they believed did not handle the entire process of the inauguration with the utmost national interest it deserved.

 

Giving reasons for the omission of CPN nominees, the Director, E-Government Development and Regulation at NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji told THISDAY that the omission of CPN nominees was as a result of a mix-up in the submission of names and that CPN has been further directed to rectify the list of its nominees, and resend same to the minister. According to Olatunji, as soon as the list is rectified and sent, the CPN members would be inaugurated into NITDA Board.

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ReadyBargains, New Online Shopping Platform Begins Operations

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ReadyBargains online business has launched an online platform to allow Nigerians who love shopping online visit shops online, make purchases and get them delivered to their choice locations.

 

“Our goal is to meet the needs of different classes of people looking for good bargains,” Don Okhuofu, chairman, ReadyBargains, said during the launch of the platform recently.

 

“Customers using our platform have access to shop from different UK and US stores using a single cart and a $10 off cart coupon available to the first basket checked out by every customer.

 

“The products are delivered to our customers across the country at their door steps of collection points of their choices,” Okhuofu said.

 

According to him, the platform gives users a 10- 15 percent cost reduction, compared with that of competitors.

 

He noted that all users have access to an additional $10 off every purchases of above $100 made from Walmart, Tesco, Carters and Mothercare.

 

“The risks of getting fake products from our services are remote because users shop directly from the foreign stores themselves. We assure users of quality products because they deal directly with the producers,” he further said.

 

Speaking on the challenging environment for e-commerce operators in the country, Okhuofu stated that the seeming failure of e-commerce business was because of their cost/revenue structure.

 

 

 

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Edo Innovation Hub Partners Siemens on ‘The Hack Edo Series’

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Sequel to its launch only last week, the Edo Innovates tech cluster has concluded modalities for The Hack Edo Series, a multi-dimensional initiative to identify and incubate the best ideas that tackle problems of power generation and distribution faced by individuals, businesses and the digital ecosystem, with a N3.5 million prize money.

In a statement by Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Skills Development and Jobs Creation, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, said that The Hack Edo Series which is being organised in partnership with Impact Hub and Siemens Nigeria, will leverage innovation technology to identify solutions in the area of power generation, adding that N3.5 million in cash prizes will be won by the best ideas.

She said starts-ups or groups with ideas can apply on the Edo jobs website, as deadline for application is on June 30.

According to her, “through a series of practical Hackathons, the Hack Edo series aims to equip young Nigerian innovators with the skills necessary to make impact in their various communities.”

She said the series will help increase the number of individuals taking action on social and economic issues, build a collaborative community that tackles issues and identify the best ideas that will be supported through the incubation phase.

She said the hackathons will catalyse high-growth startups within Edo State, support development of ventures from ideation to commercialization and promote job creation and economic development, adding, “this will drive and ensure the increased adoption of local technology by government, corporates and development agencies across Edo state and Nigeria, strengthen and raise the standard of startups in the region and deliver positive social impact returns to communities and people across the region.”

It would be recalled that the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, alongside Governor Godwin Obaseki, last week, launched the South-South Innovation Hub in the state, kicking off activities for the state’s fledging tech ecosystem at the remodeled Institute of Continuing Education (ICE).

The state government has partnered with over 25 technology firms in setting up the facility, which will serve as a one-stop shop for training, incubation, acceleration for start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state.

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