INDIGENOUS software developers will soon receive a boost with the opening of a software testing centre by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Director-General of the agency, Professor Cleopas Angaye disclosed this during a tour of facilities at the Computer Warehouse Group last week, saying that it is when software developed in the country have been tested for quality using global standards that they can get local patronage.
â€œIt is going to be world class software testing centre. Majority of local software applications have not been tested. It is going to be world class centre where the quality of any software developed in the country will be evaluated. That is the only way that they get local patronage.
â€œThere is need to set up appropriate mechanism for quality assurance and global standard for testing and certification of software developed in Nigeria. TheÂ fundamental nature of the testing is to help indigenous software developers attain products that willÂ meet international standards, thereby becoming globally competitive.
â€œThere is needÂ to regulate the development of software and hardware for effective services. There hasÂ been a lot of scam messages from Nigeria, stressing the need to monitor the networks so as to identify the Internet Protocols (IP) where such messages were coming from. The government is providing a enabling environment for local software makers.
â€œThe government is read to support local software makers but these products need to be authenticated by appropriate authority. That is the apparent truth,â€ Angaye who has been preaching made-in-Nigeria software application said.
On the issue of e-business, Angaye challenged Nigerian banks to invest in robust IT infrastructure to mitigate the phenomenon of “network failure”so as to survive 21st century banking challenge.
This development, according to findings, has continued to worry both bank executives and the users, leaving them worse off in daily banking transaction. At a time when customers are getting excited about e-commerce, Nigerian banks, according to CyberLife findings appear to be relaxing with the old habits of inefficiency and networkÂ failure caused by absence ofÂ robust IT backbone.
Angaye noted that part of network problems Nigerian banks are currently having was because of inadequate back ups and lack of robust IT infrastructures to support their daily operations.
â€œThis will continue to affect the customers who may wait for many hours either in the Automated Teller Machine, (ATM) cash point to cash money or in the banking hall waiting for the network to come up or even be strong enoughÂ to support operation.Â told IT journalists the software testing center would go a long way in making Nigeria a hub of IT just like India whose software products have been the toast of international community.
â€œBanks must invest in robust IT infrastructure to for a better operation that can match international standard. Network failures in the ATM cash points across the nation is attributable to weak IT infrastructure to support daily operationsâ€ Angaye who commended the ITÂ Â facilities of Computer Warehouse Group that hasÂ engenderedÂ quality software development to NigeriansÂ Â added.
According to him, infra structural and regulatory challenges are the hurdles militating e-payment advancement in the Nigerian banking system.
â€œThere is need for collaboration between the banking sector, the IT industry and all stakeholders for face the challenge of e-payment in Nigeria. Anything short of this may derail the development. NigerianÂ banking industry which isÂ still growing technologically.
Although there appears to be cash culture and weak regulation stifling e-payment growthÂ in Nigeria, the adaptation to the use of ATM card as an alternative and fast means of withdrawing instant cash has grown to appreciable level among Nigerians where even market women and artisans are now getting familiar with the service even asÂ Â theÂ Â technology has reduced the number of customers at the banking halls despite continuous network failure which has remained a challenge to many bank users.
But aÂ visit to majority of ATMs cash points in major commercial nerve centers in Lagos last weekÂ especially in Ikeja and Victoria IslandÂ by CyberLIFEÂ Â showed that apart from network failure, network connection among banks is also a major issue affecting inter-banking operations.