Absence of off-takers killing software development, Innovators, says Former minister

May 4, 2019

Former Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Mrs Omobola Johnson has fingered lack of credible off-takers as the current problem faced by the army of software developers in Nigeria.

Off-takers in software segment are investors and clients who can on trust pay for the development of a tailored App and software ahead of the configuration and development so as to provide financial leverage for the developer to achieve the best result.

Addressing stakeholders in her Keynote speech at the 2019 Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) President’s 2019 Dinner in Lagos, Johnson stressed that “Nigeria is losing the original speed with which it started software and allied IT sector development,” and called on ISPON, industry stakeholders to come together, discuss and work out a modality that will change the narrative in the sector.

She argued that unless, the narrative is changed, Nigeria will not only continue to spent over $400 million yearly on foreign software licence renewal without recourse to indigenous operators, but double the amount as knowledge economy takes centre stage across the world.

She said that Nigerian software developers have what it takes to come up with the best Application, but need support and assurance of seamless sales of every developed App within record time.

The former minister called on policy makers to workout framework that will revive and grow technology hubs nationwide to end the growing trend of rise and fall as some of the pioneer hubs including Idea Hub had gone down without achieving much.,

Earlier in his welcome address, the President of ISPON, Dr. Yele Okeremi decried Federal Government’s indifference towards the sub-sector, stressing that huge capital flight are recorded yearly from the sub-sector due to official lip service to local content especially in procurement of software thereby running indigenous developers out of business.

He decried that the rate at which both government and leading industries are rushing for Indian and foreign software which can be developed here is forcing young start-ups to lose hopes of growth.

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