Business

ISPON seeks policy change for economic growth

The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has called for a panoramic review of education and ICT policies in Nigeria. The newly elected President of the Institute, Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, who made this call after receiving the emblem of office from his predecessor, said this was the only way the country could move forward and achieve economic growth. According to him, most policies being used to run Nigeria have been made as far back as the ‘60s, hence, the country has remained backward. Specifically, he said the country’s education policy is still based on analogue while the world is now digital. Mba-Uzoukwu said ISPON under his tenure would be leading advocacy in this direction to ensure that Nigerian youths get the right education to be able to function and excel in the digital world.

During his inaugural speech at the handover ceremony, Mba-Uzoukwu thanked the founding members of ISPON for their vision to establish a body that would outlive them and add value to the society at large. He also expressed appreciation to the present members for their votes and promised to build on the legacy that the immediate president left behind. He thanked his immediate predecessor, Dr. Okeremi for his stewardship during his reign from 2018 to 2020 and promised to accomplish the task ahead of ISPON. Mba-Uzoukwu said, although the new executives are coming on board at a time the country and indeed the world are faced with coronavirus pandemic, however, it is also an auspicious time to make the transition to a knowledgebased economy and software is at the forefront of such transition.

“The ‘new normal’ has become the in-thing today, but we seem to speak about it with uncertainty. Therefore, it is our responsibility, as part of the ecosystem, to create that ‘new normal.’ Often, we are marred in negativity as a consumer nation; dependent on imports. It is our responsibility to write this history.

The situation (COVID-19) has presented us with a historic opportunity to reset and reimagine what we can do and begin to tell that story in the manner that people can believe in the local software. He called on Nigerians to support and encourage ISPON members and software developers in Nigeria by patronising indigenous software, which he said, needed the encouragement of industry stakeholders and the government to grow big.

Earlier, in his handover note, Dr. Okeremi said that ISPON had continued to engage successive governments to implement policies and provide supports that will ensure the development of the Nigerian software industry. He admonished the new president to keep this going and ensure a clear and consensus voice to educate the government and policymakers on the need to embrace ‘developed- in-Nigeria’ software. He pointed out that the inclusion of the younger generation in the technology ecosystem is becoming an important aspect of ISPON activities. He said: “We know that these are the days of the younger people. I will encourage you and your team to pay attention to having programmes that will bring these young people into our fold. He also highlighted a need for the new leadership of ISPON to work with relevant stakeholders.

 

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