By Kester Omu
The Nigerian government has been urged to introduce a huge tax on imported software, with a view to discourage the importation of foreign software and ultimately patronize the indigenous software.
This is one of the resolutions reached by stakeholders after a 2-day Roundtable on the use of the Nigerian software in the financial/banking services sector, which was jointly organised by the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in partnership with CWG Plc in Lagos.
Stakeholders at the Roundtable with the theme: “Adoption and Development of Local Content Technology as Growth Driver for the Nigerian Economy,” resolved also that:
NITDA should come up with the database on National ICT needs, noting the indigenous competencies, capacities and capabilities facilitate the process of a gradual winding down on the importation of software Solutions.
Others are the academia and Research Institutes (RIs) should collaborate with indigenous ICT firms/companies to develop market driven software to support national economic growth; ICT Firms and professionals in either software or Hardware should register with their respective professional bodies who in turn should register with NOTAP for consideration in the implementation of Executive Order 05.
These resolutions formed part of a draft communiqué jointly signed and issued by the organisers.
They noted that foreign software owners should be encouraged to incorporate technical trainings/capacity building in Nigeria as part of their commitment to strengthen the indigenous competencies; NOTAP and NITDA should proactively carry out investor education in our software ecosystem, with the government investing in Engineering, Science Technology and Mathematics to encourage development and growth of Nigerian digital society.