NITDA seeks review of software policy

Peter Jack

Peter Jack

NAITEOC wants strict enforcement of local content policy

THE Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Peter Jack, has called for the review of the nation’s outsourcing and software policy to reflect the realities of present times.
He observed that current policy which was developed over 10 years ago has become outdated and no longer relevant to today’s age of technology.
Meanwhile, about $5 billion was spent yearly by Nigerian industries on importation of technology, just as about N70 billion was spent by government in the procurement of printable and non-printable materials for MDAs in the last five years.
Chairman, Nigeria Association of Information Technology Enabled Outsourcing Companies (NAITEOC), David Onu who stated this, stressed the need to enforce the local content policy in the ICT sector and create incentives for private companies to patronize local software.
Onu, who stressed the need to ensure that locally manufactured software products meet international standards, suggested that government can jump start the local content policy by desisting from patronizing foreign technologies and ensuring that its expenditure on technology starts at home unless there is no local technology for the particular purpose.
At a stakeholders roundtable on outsourcing,on Monday in Abuja, the NITDA boss noted that in the light of dwindling oil revenues coupled with the need to diversify the economy and create new sources of revenue, ICT can play a critical role in stimulating job creation, wealth creation considering that ICT cuts across all sectors of the economy.
Within the NITDA Act, we have enough empowerment, have come up with a guideline that would ensure that would.
He appealed to President Buhari’s administration to give priority to the IT sector as it offers a credible alternative for oil and gas as well as a catalyst for productivity and growth across all sectors.

He also stressed the need to recognize broadband as a critical infrastructure necessary for development.
Jack, who observed that a multi stakeholders partnership strategy will reduce waste and encourage performance in government, observed  that NITDA is  collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to ensure that standards and guidelines set out for the sector are well accepted by all stakeholders.
Onu urged the new administration to take the issue of job creation from being rhetoric to practical stressing that jobs created has to be sustainable and demand driven.
For the Chairman of NIOTEC, about five million direct jobs can be created within the next five years from outsourcing as the industry has tremendous chances of addressing the high rate of unemployment, address the inefficiency in both public and the private sector and build capacity.

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