There appears to be new dawn in theÂ Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), representing the interests of the National Software Engineering and Services Developers Community in Nigeria asÂ new National Executive Council to run the affairs of the Organisation for the next two years has emerged with the Oracle of the Nigerian ICT industry elected as the President.
The new officials, includingÂ John Tani Obaro,(FNCS), 1st Vice-President,Â 2nd Vice-PresidentÂ Pius Okigbo Jr. (FNCS), General Secretary ,Â Chinneye-Mba-Uzoukwu, (FNCS) Treasurer ,Â Afolabi Salisu and the Assistant General Secretary,Â Adeyinka Oyewumi,Â Â keen watchers saidÂ are expected to retool indigenous software products for global competitiveness.
To seasoned ICT Professionals and Users alike, the configuration of the new ISPON Team indicates that Roadmap for actualising national goals of â€œSoftware Nigeriaâ€™ may have finally arrived â€“ particularly at a time when the Federal government has inaugurated a Governing Board for the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
All members of the team are tested, accredited performers and national champions of the IT Industry.
Indeed, the new ISPON President has declared that Information Technology Software is the missing-link and solution to the actualization of Nigeriaâ€™s Vision 20-2020 and realization of President Ya Aduaâ€™s Seven-point Agenda.
Existing studies indicate that the Nigerian Software Industry is a solid gold_mine in_waiting to be tapped. It is estimated at the capability to generate well over USD20billion annually if well harnessed. Above all, it is perhaps the answer to the nationâ€™s youth unemployment, as the Software Industry is capable of generating employment for millions of youthsÂ now and in the future.
The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) was established in 1998 to promote and foster the development of Indigenous Software (Application and Systems Software) for the empowerment of Nigerian economy and her people. Engr. Simeon Chijioke Agu (Chairman Neptune Software Limited) â€“ the Immediate Past-President and the last Executive Council have laid a formidable foundation for Software Nigeria to carry on and respond to global competitiveness.
Today, the Software industry is one of the largest and most influential industries in the world.
The industry originated with the entrepreneurial computer software and services companies of the 1950s and 1960s, grew dramatically through the 1970s and 1980s to become a market force rivaling that of the computer hardware companies, and by the 1990s had become the supplier of technical know how that transformed the way people worked, played and communicated every day of their lives allover the World.
Recognizing Software Development as a new productive knowledge frontier and potential instrument
for economic empowerment and creation of wealth, Government in 2005, decided to launch a nationwide awareness campaign â€“ based on the technical report submitted to it by the Inter Ministerial Committee on National Software Development Initiative (NSDI).
Setting a national software development awareness agenda therefore, is also against the backdrop that building software capacities presents immense economic opportunities for nation building.
Suffice to state that Nigeria can earn USD20billion in foreign exchange annually from the software industry. ISPONâ€™s mission is to improve the level of the nationâ€™s computer literacy index and also promote and spread the use ofÂ Â â€œNigerian Developedâ€ software applications and services in governance, education, health, business and industry, agriculture, transportation, public administration and national security.
ISPON is set to actively promote the application and use of NigerianÂ Developed Software, which is defined as â€œSoftware developed in Nigeria with its Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) owned by Nigerians, in Nigeria and where funds repatriation out of Nigeria is not applicable.
ISPON has been consistent in stating that the hope for national development lies first in engaging the challenges posed by the emerging new economy of the knowledge society.
Today we assert that software technology and the internet, with characteristically low physical entry barriers and high local value_added, offer Nigeria and newly industrialising countries a chance to quantum leapfrog.