By Emma Elebeke
A draft of the National Software Policy for Nigeria has been submitted to the National Information Development Agency of Nigeria (NITDA).
The National Software Policy Committee, headed by Professor Oluwole Akinyokun which submitted the report on June 14, 2012 was inaugurated on December 10, 2010.
The committee is made up of eminent Nigerians representing various stakeholder organizations from both Public and Private sectors and the Civil Society Group who worked rigorously to produce the final copy.
Speaking at the presentation, NITDA Director General, Professor, Cleopas Angaye said the inauguration of the committee was based on the recognition of the fact that Information and Communication Technology has been globally accepted as the major tool for sustainable socio economic development in the current global economy and software development is the engine of this powerful tool.
According to him it is apparent that the software industry no doubt is of utmost importance to future competitiveness for economies across the globe. He said Nigeria has witnessed tremendous growth in the ICT sector in the last one decade as Internet penetration has increased at an unprecedented rate of less than 200,000 regular users around 1999 to the current rate of over Forty Million users.
This he said has positioned Nigeria as the leader in Internet penetration statistics on the continent as the growth and the deployment of ICT in almost all sectors of the economy have led to considerable investment in software both in the Public and Private sectors.
Angaye noted that the development in the ICT sector has laid credence to the fact that there is an urgent need to develop appropriate policy to guide “Software Nigeria” in order to meet our local software requirements, diversify our economy from a mono economy mainly based on oil and explore the knowledge economy that can provide alternative source of revenue for the country.
While recognising the various efforts and attempts at developing the software sub sector of information and communication technology in Nigeria, Angaye said these efforts include the National Software Development Initiative, National Software Development Taskforce and the national IT policy, the presentation of the National Software Policy is therefore a continuation of the previous efforts.