Institute urges Government to Develop Nigeria’s ‘Silicon Valley’

The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) are canvassing for the channeling of resources by the federal government towards the development of a Silicon Valley infrastructure in Nigeria.

According to Footprint to Africa, the President of ISPON, Mr James Emadoye, in a statement in Lagos on Saturday urged the Minister of Communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu, to intensify efforts in promoting the adoption of ‘Made In Nigeria’ Information Technology (IT) solutions.

He said that there was a circular passed in October 2006, during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure, instructing all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to make use of local software, once the solution existed locally.

He said that there was also the pledge by the former President to let out the Federal Secretariat building in Ikoyi for use as an IT park.

”In addition to the circular, government promised Software Nigeria a wing of this wasting asset, which is said to have been sold or concessioned.

”It would have been a mini version of Silicon Valley for Nigeria where resources would have been collocated for better results,” he said.

Silicon Valley is a synecdoche for the American high-technology economic sector, physically situated in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, which is located in Northern California, USA. It is home to many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations and thousands of start-up companies.

According to him, ex-president Obasanjo also pledged to establish a Software Development Fund.

“Nigeria’s e-readiness is worrisome and this is due to policy inconsistency.

”For a critical National infrastructure such as software, there is no Software Development Fund, no protection or patronage for Nigerian software products and services, no clear National Software Policy/Strategy,” he said.

Emadoye said that Nigeria should emulate other nations which were strategising for the future.

”It is in this realisation that ISPON calls on the Ministry of Communication, as the main government department charged with the development of IT sector of which software is core.

”ISPON wishes to draw the attention of the minister to the above and seek immediate implementation of the existing NITDA Act guidelines covering strategy and policy for National software infrastructure.

”The Act seeks to declare software as a critical infrastructure for nation-building and development,” he said.

Emadoye urged the minister to facilitate the re-issuance or re-circulation of the October 2006 mandate to MDAs.

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