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State of Software Industry, Reflection of Nigeria’s Economy- Mike Olajide, Sidmach ED

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By peter oluka

Software is at the heart of the global knowledge economy as the increasing adoption of ICT enabled tools and technologies further enhance the value the value.

Also, software presents Nigeria with an opportunity to take high up position in the global ICT value chain. The value chain consists of the creators.

However, the industry has witnessed some major challenges.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek approached Mr. Mike Olajide, the executive director, Finance and Administration of Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited and the executive chairman, WaveTek Nigeria Limited.

He is a 1981 graduate of Computer Science from the University of Lagos; a distinguished Data System Analyst with over 35 years in the IT industry. He has a vast knowledge about the software industry in Nigeria.

According to Olajide, “Just like in every other sectors, we failed as a nation to do what we need to do to develop the software industry. It was a deliberate policy of the Indian government and people to develop the software industry for both local and international consumption. We have not developed and implement such a policy even now. What you are seeing today in the software industry is a product of private initiatives. Young people decided to move the industry on their own. Even the local content policy is not enforced for the MDAs not to talk of Private Enterprises. Government only reacts to what people are doing in the industry”.

He described the Nigerian software industry as innovative, virile and resourceful.

“I can tell you that the Nigerian Software industry is innovative, virile and versatile but the management and support from the government is still very low. Indians have grown their homemade software and are exporting them to the world while Nigeria still depends on imported. We pride ourselves in imported products than homegrown products. The time has come to have a change of attitude,” he said.

The ED Finance and Admin at Sidmach, added “Software development costs time and money. No developer can survive without requisite expertise, experience, financial clout/support and patronage. For more than two decades now, Sidmach have been engaged in software development, which are deployed to our clients’ sites and they have performed optimally without fail. We pride ourselves in software development and we have engaged many young people through this”.

To him, lack of patronage of local software companies is one of the greatest problems confronting the industry in Nigeria; “a situation that is not applicable in India. Due to non-patronage or low-patronage of local software in Nigeria, the country loses much in foreign exchange. The payment made in dollars and euros for subscriptions and annual software maintenance fee could be reduced and retained in the country through the purchase of local software”.

“For example, let us imagine what we would have gained if, at least, just one Nigerian bank decides to use an indigenous software rather than the prevailing situation where they all use foreign software or if the software used by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) or the one installed at the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation [OAGF], Federal Inland Revenue Service [FIRS], NIBSS and the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] are powered by indigenous software companies. This is possible today but it is requires government policy. WAEC, JAMB and NYSC are not using foreign software and they have continued to do very well in carrying out their functions”.

Watch out for the full interview soon.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


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FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

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As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


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Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention

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Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.

 

He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.

 

The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.

 

MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.

 

He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.

 

Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.

 

He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged,  promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.

 

 

 

 

 


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