The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON, has challenged Nigeria to ensure an all-inclusive Information Technology, IT ecosystem, in order to achieve digital transformation for national development. Members of the institute who made the call at the weekend in Lagos during the 2019 ISPON President’s Dinner, called on the Federal Government and all software stakeholders to work together and contribute meaningfully to the ecosystem, in order to rebuild the country technologically and advance the course of digital transformation.
The former Minister of Communications Technology, who is currently the Chairperson of the Global Alliance for Affordable Internet, Dr. Omobola Johnson, who delivered the keynote speech at the dinner, said even at some international fora, many people have questioned whether the African digital transformation drive was a hype or reality. Delivering a paper on the theme: “Having an inclusive IT ecosystem”, she however, said that the drive remained a reality for African countries, especially for Nigeria.
She however urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to come up with better policy and regulatory frameworks that will not stifle technology growth in the country. According to Johnson, “Nigerian government must focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics STEM, education to drive Information and Communications Technology, ICT education that will boost digital transformation in Nigeria. Software stakeholders must collaborate with Government to design specific training on ICT for young Nigerian startups and government must do everything possible to grow the country’s infrastructure in order to facilitate national development.”
ISPON President, Dr. Yele Okeremi who gave a retrospect of the Nigerian economy during the oil boom, said since the days of oil boom, the fate of the Nigerian economy became tied to the international price of crude oil, and as a result, the economy became buoyant when international oil prices rose, and went down even to the state of recession once the international oil price fell or when Nigeria was unable to meet up with its production quota. Okeremi however said a critical look at IT as a field of endeavour, revealed that the most important ingredient for a successful Information Technology (IT) industry, is intellectual capital.