NIBSS laments dearth of ‘skilled’ software developers

Adebisi Shonubi
Adebisi Shonubi
Charges ISPON on certification to grow local content
FOR indigenous software to gain global traction and impact meaningfully in the local market, apart from standardization, players would need to get their works certified.
This was part of the submissions made at the seventh edition of the Institute of Software Practitioners Of Nigeria’s President’s dinner, at the weekend in Lagos.
Delivering the keynote message, the Managing Director, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Adebisi Shonubi, who stressed that there was need to grow a pool of skilled software developers in the sector for the economy, harped that current crop of players must focus on improving on standards if their products must earn patronages.
Shonubi, represented by Executive Director, Technology and Operations, NIBSS, Niyi Ajao, highlighted the challenges facing local software which includes certification. He said that certification has to be instituted in the industry to guarantee software quality so as to avoid disappointment.
Shonubi added that indigenous software must be given the right publicity as well as right pricing if they are to grow and become established.
According to him, indigenous software has to be priced right, stressing that the going concern of local players should also be of utmost importance to the group. “There is scarcity of developers. We need to grow a pool of skilled developers. Many of our youths run away from development work/career”, he stressed.
In his contribution, John Ayo, of the Information and Technology department, Central Bank of Nigeria, local content development is a good thing, but there should be caution. “There is need to build standards.”
Vice President, Nigeria Computer Society, Veronica Owolabi, urged government at different levels to assist in ensuring that local software is used by organisations and government agencies.“Software developed by Nigerians can compete favourably with foreign software,” she stated
Earlier in his welcome address, President, ISPON, Pius Okigbo, Jr., urged government to support local content in the sector through deliberate policy that will ensure patronage and growth.
“We believe fervently that our industry represents a sector of immense opportunity – one of massive employment potential, an industry endowed with creativity and technological innovation, wealth creation, talent development and much more. This is a sector where all you need to get started is a bright idea, a laptop, the requisite development tools and the comfort zone of your mother’s bedroom.
“There is a new mantra currently headlining, ‘Made in Nigeria’ for this mantra to hold true, we must set aside our cultural inhibitions and disdain for things that are made locally. We must imbibe a new ethos for local content, we must believe in ourselves and in our own abilities. If our software business is not engaged, the industry will not grow. It cannot employ and it cannot create wealth. What we need is deliberate policy.
“It is worthy of note that a Nigerian software firm cannot setup shop in India, china, Malaysia or even England, bid for a job and win it! Yet the reverse is true in Nigeria, firms from some of these countries brag about their prowess and exhibit their utter disdain for local firms. This we must stop,” he said.

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