By Bukola Olanrewaju
Information communication Technology is a core and vital solidification tentacle in national technological strength and advancement. The outgoing year 2017, would have been more profitable and developed, but the heated effect of recession with high rate of dollar overshadowed the sector and downturn in the country, an expert has said.
In an exclusive interview with the President of Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), Mr Adeniyi Ahmed Ojikutu has said, “the year has being a year of challenge which is as a result of the unstable nature of the economy but organisations and young entrepreneurs in the Information technology sector have been able to make effective use of it for national technological development”
Ojikutu said, “beyond the high rate of dollars that affected companies in the first quarter of the year, the second and third quarter saw to the rise of innovative ideas, innovation and technological development.
He also stated that this year is the year of Robotic Science in that artificial intelligence and software Patronage became more prominent and Nigeria programmers become more acceptable.
“Information Communication Technology stakeholders have come to the realisation that this year, there is need to do more from within, by encouraging and using our local content for the development of our own technology”, he said.
Speaking of the government participation in the national technological advancement and development, Ojikutu has called on the government to encourage its citizens to develop, use and buy more of our local hardware products. He said this will also help the development of technology in the country.
In addition, he mentioned that for the information technology sector in Nigeria to expand its horizon, government should identify with policies that would encourage Nigerian manufacturers and software developers.
“Software that would be used for E -governance should be developed by Nigeria and make policies that would encourage Nigeria hardware manufacturer’s Patronage”, Ojikutu said.
Moreso, he solicited for more recognition for the informal sector for places like Computer Village and G.S.M Villages all around the Nigeria.
“These people have raw talents and the brains needed for the technological development and advancement of Nigeria”, Ojikutu commended.
Reminding the Government of the potential needed in the ICT sector in the citizens, he expressed that “ Nigeria would be self sufficient in ten years if the government can recognize and develop the potential and knowledge in Nigeria citizens that the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg saw which made him to the people abroad.
“Technology and ICT has come to stay and it is expected of Nigeria to encourage the usage of technological solution and let things be done more electronically.
“ The development of ICT will make people from the analogue era to digital era”, he explained.
Determined to encourage government involvement in the ICT sector, Ojikutu further identified ways by which government can contribute to the digitalization of the economy next year.
“Government should fund more development initiative and competition which will engage the younger generations for the benefits of the nation’s economy.
“ Technological initiatives from the university with economy value should not be dumped.
“As a matter of law, government should approve ICT intervention Fund and development Bank should be approved as it is being done for Agriculture and Aviation”, he analysed.
For the actualisation of the year 2018, 30% targeted broadband penetration, according to Ojikutu, “ all hubs, universities, government parastatals, Airforce base, police stations, barracks, hospitals should have broadband”.
In addition, he pointed out that the agency under the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology (FMCT), the satellite operator in charge of providing service, NigComSat should redirect some of the band withs that have not being issued out to Nigeria, so that the nation can enjoy free WiFi.
According to him, “with the free WiFi, things would be achieved more easily such as, education would be simpler and there would be better government.
“All Local and State governments should release part of their fund for the development of ICT in their region.
“ Everybody should know in this age that without ICT, the economy cannot be properly developed”, said Ojukutu.
Ojikutu further suggested that citizens should express their concern on the lack of ICT development in the country, with this government would see the importance and yield to peoples yearning for the enjoyment of all.