The Federal government is to invest N2 billion in the establishment of two broad-based information technology parks in the country in a move to give IT a boost, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek can now reveal.
IT Park is a scheme for the development and export of computer services such as software as well as professional services. It provides physical infrastructure, including dedicated high speed connectivity to technology parks, freedom for 100% foreign equity investment and tax incentives.
There is currently no completed technology park in Nigeria.
ICT parks offer a number of shared resources, such as uninterruptible power supply, telecommunications hubs, entertainment, sports facilities, among others. This way, the park offers considerable advantages to hosted companies, by reducing overhead costs with these facilities.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that the establishment of the IT park is part of federal government blue print to restructure IT industry soon to be unveiled by National Information Technology Development Agency (Nitda).
The blue print also includes the establishment of four software commissioning centres that will address the problem of certification and testing of locally developed software.
These software commissioning centres are expected to encourage the patronage of locally made software which has been playing alternative role in the choice of software by some organizations such as banks and oil companies.
It would be recalled that Tara software which gained international recognition in the early 80s failed because of lack of patronage by organizations in the country.
The reposition of IT industry in the country has become necessary in view of the expected broadband revolution as a result of the landing of two submarine cable in Nigeria Glo 1 and MainOne that will boost internet related business such as m-commerce, and e-learning.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigation revealed that IT parks are necessary impetus for the development of the industry.
For instance, Software Technology Parks of India have played a similar role in India having earned a reputation as an information technology superpower.
More than 6,000 businesses are registered under the STPI umbrella, with 36 percent growth by value in 2005-06 exports over the previous year.