The Nigeria Computer Society, NCS, has urged the in-coming administration in Lagos State to intensify efforts towards adoption of indigenous Information and Communication Technology tools in its e-governance pursuit.
The Society made this call at NCS Lagos Chapter 2019 Stakeholders’ Forum held in at NECA House, Lagos, on Wednesday under the theme: ‘NCS @ 40: NCS Lagos Roadmap in the next Dispensation’.
eLearning, education and broadband
Setting the ball rolling, the Deputy President of the Nigeria Computer Society, Mr Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, said that in order to build Lagos of our dream, there was need to build capacity of the people.
According to him, everything today is digital and so the need to ensure that the country does not lose her capable hands to brain drain.
“Our software people are leaving the country and this is so because they become instantly in demand and our local companies cannot afford to pay for them.
“There is need to rapidly scale the capacity of the state to produce the human capital that is needed to push the State forward”.
Mba-Uzoukwu, who doubles as the Managing Director, Infographics, said that as regards the educational sector, there should be huge deployment of broadband and creation of local cloud that would enable the sector to go to the next level.
He added that broad partnership with private sector would help in the development of educational sector in Lagos in particular and Nigeria at large.
He said that the only way to grow technology was to grow the NCS and the Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria, CPN, urging that all ICT projects should be given to professionals who are registered members to monitor performances.
Transportation – e-ticketing
To the Managing Director, ETO Investment, Dr Charles Onyeukwu, transportation has become big issue in the State and if not well managed would affect productivity.
According to him, if there were adequate LAGBUSes, people will gladly pack their cars and join the buses to checkmate the constant gridlock on the roads.
“A partnership with NCS and CPN will ensure that local content is adopted in tackling the transport issue in the state,” he said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, PowerSoft, Mr Bayo Atekoye, said that Lagos State had the capacity to build tractor system for rail line projects in the state but the issue was the penchant for foreign tools.
He advised the state to use ICT to curb the menace of commercial buses popularly known as ‘Danfo’, by adopting e-ticketing system, noting that the failure of LAGBUS was their inability to adopt e-ticketing system.
The Managing Director, Digivation, Mr Bayero Agabi, said that there was need to make Lagos a digital hub in Africa, adding that to attain that the need to build capacity.
He also called on the state to massively embark on the catch them young system to ensure that they are part of the digital process.
A member National Executive Council of NCS, Mr Rogba Adeoye, said that the constant outflow of the countries experts was not good, adding that it would not drive the smart city that was clamoring for.
He said that identity management would ensure that the state had a smart city, stressing that Lagos must take its prominence in identity management.
Responding, the Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Dr Femi Hamzat, said that if elected, they would address these issues raised by the stakeholders.
Guest of honour responds
Dr. Hamzat, who is a member of the NCS, stated that for Lagos State to attain the Mega City status, it needed to leverage on the private sector participation.
He also said that if elected into government, they would set up more incubation centres where the youth would converge and come out with technology solutions that would aid the state in achieving the mega city initiative.
“As a City, we need to first of all fix our home and this will come in the form of training of the youths with the digital skills that will help them in the future.
“Lagos on its own has 518 tech startups and what we must do is to leverage private sector in building their capacity, using these startups solutions to try and tackle the challenges that are faced in the state.
“By the time, we are elected, we shall look at rejigging polices that relate to ICT in the State. On the other hand, we need the Federal Government to work with us. For instance, Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) was set up to bridge the gap on proper data gathering and management, because Lagos has a lot of issues that appropriate data can help us solve,” he said.
Meanwhile, members of NCS agreed to draft documents, present same to the Lagos State Government, on how to properly harness ICT to grow the economy; particularly, working in partnership with the indigenous Original Equipment Manufactures (OEMs).