The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), is set to organize a local technology capacity workshop in partnership with the Pan-Africa Information and Communications Technology Company, CWG Plc and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
The workshop, which is scheduled to take place later this year, is part of efforts to reduce and reverse the quantum amount of money that leaves the shores of Nigeria, as a result of technology imports, and ultimately boost local capacity in line with the local content policy of the Federal Government.
According to Dr. Danazumi Ibrahim, Director General of NOTAP, the workshop will be aimed at sensitizing Nigerians and various stakeholders on the need to build capacity to develop software locally that can favorably compete with foreign software. He said, this will drastically reduce dependence on foreign software and capital flight, which is one of the bane of Nigeria’s seemingly poor economy.
“I feel the pain each time we have to sign for foreign software because of the huge revenue that Nigeria is losing,” Dr.Ibrahim said while inaugurating the workshop committee comprising of teams from NOTAP, NITDA and CWG in Abuja recently. He stated that before Nigeria can reduce the hold of foreign partners, the country must be prepared to develop more capacity by pulling resources and competences together productively.
Commenting, Ukeje Ndukwe, Principal Scientific Officer and representative of the Team Lead, for NITDA, said the Government Agency is charged with the mandate of developing the IT Industry and was committed to the success of the workshop. Ndukwe stressed that one of the surest ways of using technology to drive the economy is to develop home-grown contents and patronize it, even as a Government agency. Ndukwe said NITDA is excited about the opportunity to partner with NOTAP and CWG to drive the industry forward, disclosing that it has set up a special purpose vehicle which is called the Office of National Local Content Development as one of the ways it seeks to carry out its mandate.
Meanwhile, in his remark, Udukheli Izebuno, Business Director, Government Sector at CWG Plc expressed his appreciation to NOTAP for believing in the initiative and hosting the inaugural meeting; whilst he extended same to NITDA for agreeing to the partnership. Izebuno, who likened the tripartite being formed by the three organizations to a group of Nigerians that had decided to step forward with a common charge; to change the way the Nation received and served Technology. He posited that Nigeria currently was too weak in its internal capability to develop software required to meet the huge demand for driving the economy forward.
He noted that when CWG put forward the concept of this initiative in the form of a workshop, it was with the intention of getting the participation of a broad range of key economic players, all with the central aim of addressing the need to bridge the gap and build domestic capacity. “We intend to use the workshop to sensitize end users and stakeholders, especially the banks who appear to be the major users of foreign software; on the use of locally developed software available to them and the importance now more than ever to develop local capacity,” he said.