Nigeria has Minimised Software Importation, says NCS's Nwannena

Computing

Outgoing President of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Dr Chris Nwannenna, has said his leadership brought about the Federal Government's priority attention to indigenous applications software, thereby minimising the use of more than US$500 million annually to import such products.

Addressing members of the body at the opening of its National Conference in Owerri, Imo State, Nwannenna said government positive measure went a long way in creating more jobs and wealth for Nigerians.

According to him, NCS mounted and sustained a campaign for local content development for the recognition, acceptance and promotion of applications software developed by indigenous professionals, since it had shown, with examples of proven and tested software products and services, that we have the requisite skills in the area.

"Our proposal in this direction was formally accepted when a circular from Secretary to the Government of the Federation directed ministries and agencies to give priority attention to indigenous applications software," he said.

Nwannenna said the body consistently advocated creation of an Information Technology (IT) Ministry, as obtainable in countries like Egypt, and recommended a restructuring that would have a Ministry of Information and Communica-tion Technologies (MCIT) to comprise a merged NBC and NCC, NITDA and CPN.

He decry the duplication of IT and Communications agencies in three different ministries, leaving room for duplication of functions, which harmonisation was intended to curb. He, therefore, urged government to revisit the harmonisation issue by trying to bring agencies involved in IT, including NITDA, under one umbrella. Ministry would go a long way in bringing progress.

In his remarks, chairman of the occasion, former Senator President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim congratulated the NCS for staying a rancorous-free twenty one years of existence, stating that the theme of the conference: "Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria - IT Strategies and Tools was quite significant.

He identified as no longer practicable for research work, design projects, management of projects and programmes, comparative analysis, dissemination and access to information, project implementation, data collection and security without the use of IT.

Declaring the Conference open, the Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim urged the body to continue to play a key role in the development of the nation, since IT had been identified as the key driver for economic growth and national prosperity.

The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Lady, Dr. Ada Okwuonu emphasized that the state was concluding plans for a take off into a sustained campaign against unemployment, stating "we are creating job centres in each of the three senatorial zones with the aim to have a data bank on the number of unemployed hands, their skills and job needs with a view to having the requisite information that would influence policy direction and provide timely and accurate information on available jobs".

(Source: This Day)