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Chris U

Set out 10% national budget for national ICT ecosystem development—Uwaje

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Leading pioneer Information and Communications Technology (ICT) pundit, Mr Chris Uwaje has called on the federal government to set aside, 10 per cent of every national budget for the development of a national ICT ecosystem.
Explaining issues on Thursday as the keynote speaker at the Quarterly Forum of Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA) in Lagos, former President of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and current Director General of Delta State Innovation Hub (DSIH), he revealed that “It was such a move by the United State Government few years ago that gave birth to today’s highly innovative Silicon Valley.
He recalled that Silicon Valley in the US has currently displaced every other ICT hub in the world with world class inventions, businesses, software titans and massive job creation for the United States.
According to him, “Nigeria’s sojourn to the world of ICT has remained poorly articulated due to lack of enabling ICT baseline template that would have driven tailored growth than the current poorly coordinated growth the country is observing now.
He argued that even though business development remains in the hands of the private sector, the needed policy direction that should statutorily come from the government is missing.
In the field of software which he has followed over the years, Uwaje averred that “Currently, there has not been a national software regulation and policy direction and that has been the reason for weak expansion of the industry.
While citing example with the payment revolution driven by the development of Remita software by SystemSpec Group, he argued that “The unprecedented breakthrough which the federal government has made in the control of fund leakages through the introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA) which is riding on the powers of Remita is enough signal to deepen the growth of software industry in Nigeria.
In his opening remarks, the chairman of the event and managing director of e.Stream networks limited, Engr. Muyiwa Ogungboye said the choice of the theme of the summit; ‘ Local Content Development in Nigeria’s ICT Sector: Stimulant For National Economic Recovery’, is apt, considering the rising global need for ICT in the advancement of knowledge economy.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of NITRA, Mr. Emma Okonji stressed that NITRA Quarterly Forum with industry leaders is structured to serve as an agenda setting platform that will assist in coming up with tailored industry development policy that will help guide and shape the emerging shift from resource economy to knowledge economy.
According to him, “As watchdog of the society, NITRA have a duty as the amalgam of Nigeria’s telecoms reporters to protect local content development in Nigeria and it is for this reason that we thought it wise to bring together, the government, the financial services providers and industry stakeholders to discuss the importance of local content and its gains for national development and recovery”.
The forum was sponsored by SystemSpec with supports from ALTON, ATCON, NCS, ISPON, Quadrant MSL Group and others.

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