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new ISPON President Dr. Yele Okeremi explains his Single point agenda

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Dr. Yele Okeremi

The newly elected President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON, Dr. Yele Okeremi, has already rolled up his sleeves to executive what he termed Single Point Agenda.

TechEconomy.ng reported exclusively about the election of Dr. Okeremi as the President of ISPON for the next two years.

Speaking to TechEconomy.ng in his office, he first acknowledged the vision of the founder of ISPON and the predecessors, stating that the current National Executive Council’s agenda revolves around human capacity building.

He said the agenda was necessitated by the need to solve fundamental issues in the Nigerian software industry.

Dr. Okeremi, who doubles as the Founder/CEO of Precise Financial Systems (PFS) identified the inability to develop human capitals as one of the banes of the industry and the country at large.

Tribute to founders of ISPON

In his words: “Thank you for this platform to once again speak on a single point agenda of the current NEC. As you know, I have been a member of the Institute. Take note, ISPON is going to be 20 years old next year and I am the fifth President. I joined from the beginning and understand the challenges, struggles of ISPON.

“First, it is right for me to pay tribute to my predecessors, especially (late) Dr. Simon Agu who though it was necessary to have this kind of set up. Each President have had to work based on the times and seasons they operated.

Nigeria’s economy

“What I see today is that, clearly, Nigeria needs to get serious about understanding its challenges.

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One of the challenges is we still think money would necessarily come from the ground; we do not develop. I think it is necessary for Nigeria to begin to develop things.

For some reasons, and due to the cheapness of how we made money as a country, people have not really appreciated the software industry.

The present National Executive Council (NEC) of ISPON has a single agenda: building capacity of the industry. If you take a look at the industry it is very interesting; I use the word ‘interesting’ as a very negative term.

It is a situation the son of the beef-seller goes home without a piece of meat to eat. That’s the situation we found ourselves in Nigeria.

What this means

“Why do I say that? You take a look at the rest of the world; those who are most successful, what is their field? They are mostly software/technology companies. What do we see in Nigeria? The people who have money, so to speak, how productive are they? So, that disconnect is what Nigeria has lived with for several years.

So, people who are venturing into software business you see some people looking at us as if we are comedians, because people are quick to identify those who can show cash.

People view we software developers as comedians-

“Because they have refused to develop they blockade the avenues to development. So, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy- you hear things like, ‘oh, don’t mind them. Nigerian software developers can’t deliver’. With that mind-set, they can’t invest in the developers.

“Eventually, something happens and they have need to resort to the indigenous developers; but because you have neither believed nor invested in the capacity building of these developers, who do you think they will deliver. It is like in football or any other sports- if the players fail to practice they cannot deliver!

The reason they couldn’t deliver is because of self-fulfilling prophecy. You prophesised on them, ‘you are unproductive’. So, this cycle needs to be broken.

“There are two ways to break the cycle- from the demand or/and supply sides. On the demand side, you go telling people, ‘buy Nigerian software’. The question should be, ‘why should they buy’? We do not really have much control over them. But we can talk to ourselves as practitioners and say, ‘guys’ let’s do certain things differently.

“When we can assure ourselves that if you do the right things results are guaranteed, everybody will fall in line”.

(Watch out for the full interview soon)

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