No market for software in Nigeria, says Socketworks boss


Founder/CEO, Socketworks Global Limited, Aloy Chife has said that absence of an effective local market for innovation has continued to undermine the growth of the local software development community in Nigeria.

According to the software maker, private sector players like bank and other companies as well as government institutions rather place their orders from multinational software companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, a trend that has not encouraged indigenous application software builders.

He spoke today at second day of CTO 2009, hosted by the U.S. Commercial Service Nigeria at the Muson Centre, Lagos where he gave insights with attendees at the seminar session on "Partnering for Success: Global Perspectives on Systems and Software Development."

Chife, who now resides and does business from Ghana where he also runs his company, an Application Software Provider (ASP), also decried the state of technology in Nigeria, one of the reasons he adduced for migrating from Nigeria to Ghana.

He advised that software builders could create market for themselves adding that this informed why he opted from selling software to providing IT infrastructure and software solutions to digitally manage operations.

Further, he said because decision makers in all fields are looking to technology to provide solutions and drive desired changes by combining local, national and global resources in innovations and urged Nigerians to explore outsourcing partnerships that could grow the software business in Nigeria.

According to him, it is strategic partnerships with global firms that would enable indigenous application software builders to leverage their local capacities with international expertise to deliver cutting-edge solutions.

Chife said that, we now live in a digital economy that has no physical boundaries so individuals should create an innovative and profitable platform for growth.

He added that partnership alliances are needed to grow the software business. This could be in the form of joint venture with a legally independent company, equity strategic alliance in which individuals own a percentage of the company formed; non- equity strategic alliance or a contractual relationship. Another option could be a global strategic alliance, which is a working partnership between companies, often more than two, across national boundaries and across industries could work.

Global strategic alliance could sometimes be formed between a company and a foreign government, or among companies and governments, he said adding that his organization SW Global, is an example of a Nigerian company benefiting from strategic alliances as it has relationships with global partners such as Google, Motorola, L-1 Identity Solutions, International Finance Corporation (IFC), among others.

According to him, in a short time frame, the company is already exploring partnerships and advanced pursuit of opportunities with the Ghana Electoral Commission, the Federal Road Safety Commission of Nigeria and the Ministry of Immigration in Kenya.

Technology Times