Adinde lists ways Nigeria can earn revenue from software export - Sundiata Tech

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Adinde lists ways Nigeria can earn revenue from software export

Nigeria can turn the ‘Yahoo- Yahoo’ syndrome into positive energy that will leapfrog the nation in the area of software development just like India, says Ikechukwu Adinde, the Administrator of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Nigeria’s foremost ICT capacity building institute.

This, he said, can be achieved when there is a conscious national will to invest in the training of Nigerian youths and creating the right environment where they can unleash their creative and innovative abilities.

Beyond the training, there must also be a consciousness to patronise their products which are basically software and apps rather than sourcing for these products abroad.

“If you look at the demographics of our young people you’ll find out that they’re very savvy, entrepreneurial and talented but I think there are a number of environmental factors that also limit opportunities which is why some of them, in a bid to survive deploy these talents negatively.

‘India was able to identify the need to mainstream the talents and skills of their young people positively by consciously building a structure and framework to enable them acquire these skills and it became an export product for India and the rest of the world and that is what Nigeria has not done’, he said.

Adinde who runs DBI, owned by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said Nigeria should be able to export software and allied products as an alternative foreign exchange earner in much the same way India has done over the years.

If we are able to harness the potentials of these young people, especially in the area of ICT it will amaze you how much they will unleash. Many of the Africa economies are waiting for Nigeria; a lot of our young people can go into Sub-Saharan countries in West, East and North Africa by exporting their skills to do things but that hasn’t happened because there has not been a conscious effort to actually develop these things and tap into them.

‘We had made a case sometime in 2016 at the capacity building symposium organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that the investments in USPF (universal service provision fund) across Africa instead of being channelled wholly and exclusively to ICT infrastructure should be dedicated to ICT skills development, in that if someone is investing $10million in ICT infrastructure, 10 per cent of the money should go for ICT skills development especially targeted at the youths now commonly called the millennials.

‘They are the ones who will use the infrastructure to innovate, create and develop the things that will make the future happen, but as long as we don’t make that investment then it means that you’ll put a piece of ICT equipment in an office and nobody is using it because the skills are not there”, he said.

According to him, there’s a critical need to invest in building ICT capacity for the young people and that’s why ‘DBI continues to innovate programs that target the young people so that we fulfil our mandate in that area.’

He explained that their training focuses on both young persons and those who are advanced in age but wish to upscale their ICT skills.

Nigeria has a substantial amount of young people who have just finished from secondary school and are looking to pursue a career in ICT. A few of them have enrolled for National Innovation Diploma program, which is a two-year program (Telecommunications Technology, Multimedia Technology, Networking and Systems Security and Computer Hardware and Software Engineering), after which they can either pursue a further degree in university or make use of their already acquired skills.

However industry analysts are the view that enabling environment has to in place for these youths to positively impact the society with technology.
Adinde called today’s technology inclined Nigerian youth to take advantage of DBI’s NID program to gain expertise which is an added advantage to already acquired skills, as the positive use of technology will not only benefit our economy but will also change the country’s reputation on the global scale.

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