By Martin Ekpeke
CWG Plc has adduced reasons why keeps making a case for a viable software ecosystem in Nigeria, where all the market players can engage, connect and share ideas across active communities and networks, as well as identify and convert opportunities into business.
CWG, Nigeria’s biggest system integration company, said Nigeria, as Africa’s most populous country is transitioning into a dynamic ecosystem offering Fintech start-ups a platform to succeed and potentially grow into multi-million-dollar businesses. Thus, a viable software ecosystem is needed and must be worked upon by all, hence the regular clarion call.
“As a major player in the Nigerian software ecosystem, offering enterprise solutions; we believe that Nigeria needs to continuously seek to sustain a viable software industry, particularly in this current age of technology-driven financial services, where no market participant can afford to operate in silo,” said CWG’s Ag. Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Adewale Adeyipo.
Adeyipo, in a paper titled ‘Building a viable software ecosystem for financial services in Nigeria’, which he delivered last month at a 2-days stakeholders roundtable on the use of the Nigerian software in the financial/banking services sector held in Lagos, argues that in Nigeria, the market players are still not fully active as it potentially can be.
This is worrisome, pointing out that in a bid to achieve a viable software ecosystem in Nigeria, CWG is consistently developing, testing and deploying indigenous software to tackle and meet the changing needs of every Nigerian ranging from the lowest to the upper-class segment.
This, according to Adeyipo is in line with its goal of developing technology solutions that enables growth. He stressed that to create a viable software ecosystem in Nigeria, it is essential to develop policies that empower local software companies through investment and also establish government-owned coding academies just as Rwanda has built a programming school that allows Rwandans have access to best global practices on software development.
“There must be deliberate policies and regulations that will drive inclusiveness to encourage collaboration, as the survival of our software ecosystem is dependent on the collaborations between the Government and the Financial Service sector of the ecosystem,” Adeyipo advised.
The CWG boss, who was represented by Udukheli Izebuno, CWG’s Business Director, Government Sector; at the Roundtable 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, pointed out that there are endless opportunities for the vibrant software industry in Nigeria, especially with its average population of over 190 million people with about 50 percent of the population (94.8M) being active internet user.
With well over 600 Tech startups in Nigeria today, as reported by Startup Ranking, it is no debate that the Nigerian Software ecosystem must stand firm to meet the demand of her population. According to a report by Disrupt-Africa, Nigeria was able to establish 58 tech startups through foreign direct investment worth over $90 Million with a significant focus in the financial technology sector in the last few years.
The global software industry has grown exponentially. In 2013, Gartner reported that the worldwide software industry was worth $407.3 billion and Nigeria was expected to consume about 0.05 percent annually.
What this means is that there is a market for software in Nigeria. The country must channel its resources to build a viable software ecosystem that will ultimately lead to job creation and reduce unemployment rates significantly.
CWG appears to be on the lead in this agitation, as it is currently investing in numerous knowledge building initiatives promoting skills acquisition through its CWG Academy program for graduates and the D-Coder Free Initiative for Senior Secondary Students, so that some Nigerians, especially the youths can shape their IT interests and careers by consistently seek for disruptive solutions that can compete with “foreign” software.