Lagos – The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has called on the Minister of Communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu, to enforce compliance on use of ‘Made In Nigeria’ Information Technology (IT) solutions.
The President of ISPON, Mr James Emadoye, made the call in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
He said that there was a circular passed in October 2006, during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure, instructing all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to make use of local software, once the solution existed locally.
He said that there was also the pledge by the former President to let out the Federal Secretariat building in Ikoyi for use as an IT park.
According to him, ex-president Obasanjo also pledged to establish a Software Development Fund.
“Nigeria’s e-readiness is worrisome and this is due to policy inconsistency.
”In addition to the circular, government promised Software Nigeria a wing of this wasting asset, which is said to have been sold or concessioned.
”It would have been a mini version of Silicon Valley for Nigeria where resources would have been collocated for better results.
”For a critical National infrastructure such as software, there is no Software Development Fund, no protection or patronage for Nigerian software products and services, no clear National Software Policy/Strategy,” he said.
Emadoye said that Nigeria should emulate other nations which were strategising for the future.
”It is in this realisation that ISPON calls on the Ministry of Communication, as the main government department charged with the development of IT sector of which software is core.
”ISPON wishes to draw the attention of the minister to the above and seek immediate implementation of the existing NITDA Act guidelines covering strategy and policy for National software infrastructure.
”The Act seeks to declare software as a critical infrastructure for nation-building and development,” he said.
Emadoye urged the minister to facilitate the re-issuance or re-circulation of the October 2006 mandate to MDAs.