Speaking yesterday at the ICT Stakeholders’ Forum, in Lagos, Johnson was responding to a question from a local developer who wanted to know what the ministry is doing to compel Nigerian companies to patronise local software developers.
Using First Bank of Nigeria’s recent upgrade to Finacle 10 as example, the minister said the foreign products have been able to enjoy wide acceptance and credibility from both the public and private sectors and it will be very difficult for a local developer to compete with them.
The minister said: “Before the companies can even listen to you, they will be asking for numerous documents and certifications which the foreign products have already gotten.”
She however advised Nigerian developers to channel their skills and efforts towards developing mobile solutions.“We’ve missed on banking apps, mobile web and apps are what we can work on,” Johnson said.She noted that there are tremendous opportunities in mobile apps.“Even the banks that are using Finacle also need mobile apps that only local developers can produce,” she added.On the part of her ministry, Johnson said efforts are being made to encourage local developers with certification and improving access to startup funds through its innovation hubs and venture capital.
Johnson revealed her ministry sponsored six young Nigerian ICT entrepreneurs to the ITU World 2012 event, in Dubai, where they displayed their products at the Nigerian pavilion.
She also mentioned the Tech Launch Pad that will identify the best talent and match them to industry hubs to provide platform for talent development, mentoring and acquisition of business skills.
by Paul Adepoju