BY CHRIS UWAJE
It is unacceptable therefore, that with well over USD$54billion software revenue generation, India Software export revenue is more than 400% of what Nigeria generates from oil annually.
This is another reason why Software-Nigeria cannot wait for anyone. This is the time to move on and move on very fast.
Indeed, the data for the fiscal year 2011 — including revenue from both domestic and export markets of the global Software market, vividly demonstrates that Software-Nigeria may be our last hope and indeed, the bridge to our sustainable development.
India’s revenue from exports grew 29 percent to $40.4 billion during this period, while revenue from the domestic market grew by 26 percent to $11.6 billion. Today, the development, application and use of software has boosted productivity, created new jobs, enabled more efficient businesses, produced higher quality of goods and services, and led to greater global innovation, standards and best practices.
The emergence of the software revolution has enhanced the quality of life from improving health care, agriculture, communication, education, art and culture, to promoting greater transparency, to making it easier for government, business and humanity to interact with one another and above all, to promoting world peace. Software has therefore become – and will remain for a long time – one of the fastest growing industries with the power to enrich and sustain national economies. Global projection and current assessment reveals that IT spending exceeded four trillion US dollars in 2009. Issue is how much did Nigeria spend and how much did she earn?
And ISPON continues to assert today, more than ever before, that software technology and the internet, with characteristically low physical entry barriers and high local value-added, offer newly industrialising countries a chance to quantum leapfrog. Unfortunately, the industry has been unsuccessful in attracting the attention of policy makers/government and the financial services sector largely because of the ease with which the players in those sectors could return in some cases 400% value on investment through financial engineering and trading in government funds.
Fundamental issues of major concern to Nigeria and the President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda should include but not limited to: a. Understanding the value that software adds to the nation’s economy; b. Ensuring national competitiveness in the global software marketplace; c. Meeting public needs for trustworthiness in critical software systems; d. Ensuring the necessary degree of security and e. privacy in information systems; f. Educating and training the current and future software workforce; g. Ensuring qualifications and competency of software professionals; h. Protecting intellectual property and preventing software piracy; i. Defining executive and effective agenda for software research and investment; j. Addressing the National Software issues. It is in recognition of the above challenges that the United Nations University – International Institute for Software Technology (IIST) initiated its Software Advanced Development Project – particularly focused in assisting Developing Countries. So ftware Nigeria cannot and must not wait for anyone to define her 21st century development mission.