By Yinka Okeowo
As preparations heat up for the Third Quarter Forum of the Nigerian Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), under the supervision of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), more corporate organisations and industry associations have thrown their weight behind the event scheduled for August 30, 2018.
The latest to declare their support for the Forum which will be focusing on local content in the ICT sector with the theme: “Local Content Development In Nigeria’s ICT Sector: Stimulant for National Economic Recovery,” are indigenous software giants, SystemSpecs, and indigenous software developers professional body, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON).
A letter addressed to NITRA, dated August 13, 2018, and personally signed by Dr. Yele Okeremi, President of ISPON, reads in part: “On behalf of the National Executive Council and members of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), it is with pleasure that I endorse the NITRA Quarterly Forum 2018. This year’s event is centered on local content in ICT which is one of the top issues of ISPON’s advocacy.
“As a software practitioner with several decades in the Nigerian IT ecosystem, I understand the importance of the media and duly recognise the immense contribution the media has made to the IT ecosystem, particularly by proper reporting of the IT industry. NITRA can be said to be a body of professionals who know their onions and have made great contribution to our industry and ISPON is proud to be associated with them.”
Dr. Okeremi assured that the Forum will provide an opportunity for a critical analysis of the correlation between the promotion of local content and the growth of the Nigerian economy by seasoned technocrats with a focus for the adoption of this model by the relevant regulatory bodies. “Rest assured, ISPON will be present at the forum to contribute its quota to this laudable initiative,” he concluded.
Recall that the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Local Content Guidelines are intended to help restructure and develop a strong indigenous ICT industry by addressing three core areas as follows: Driving indigenous innovation; Developing the local ICT industry; and Establishing intellectual property regulation and protection standards.
It is argued that the provisions of the NITDA Guidelines, if properly implemented would enable the local ICT industry to contribute meaningfully towards the achievement of national development targets; and would stimulate and increase the production, sales, consumption of high quality information technology products and services developed by indigenous companies that serve the needs of the local and global market.
The NITRA Quarterly Forum, therefore, will not only highlight the opportunities and challenges of deploying local content in the country’s ICT sector, it will also provide knowledge and networking platform that will bring together technology innovators, developers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and other players in the nation’s ICT sector.
Indigenous software powerhouse, SystemSpecs has remained committed to software development and is today Nigeria’s foremost software house. It remains firmly committed to its vision from inception, to become the software house of reference in Africa, and is convinced that this vision will give the continent its deserved recognition on the global software landscape.
The software giant is now regarded as the leading electronic financial transactions company, from Africa to the rest of the world, through the deployment and support of its flagship product, Remita, which powers the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Treasury Single Account project – the largest and most successful of its kind in Africa.
On the other hand, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON as an industry professional body for indigenous software developers and practitioners in Nigeria, was established with the aim of creating an enabling environment for local content developers, and has been in the forefront of championing the advocacy for the application and utilisation of locally developed software in order to boost the country’s economy, GDP and give Nigeria an alternative to oil as a revenue earner.
Guided by a mission to impact on national development and the software ecosystem through innovation, sustainable development and pervasive application of Nigerian software and services in all spheres of human endeavour, ISPON has not relented in consistently advocating for support and patronage for Nigeria’s indigenous software.