ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Building the future by supporting local software talents [ICT Clinic]

In August 2011, Marc Andreessen published an essay in The Wall Street Journal, titled, ‘Why Software Is Eating The World.’ The essay went a great length to try to predict how software would become one of the most important factors in how our world would be shaped.

An excerpt of it reads; “Software is also eating much of the value chain of industries that are widely viewed as primarily existing in the physical world. In today’s cars, software runs the engines, controls safety features, entertains passengers, guides drivers to destinations and connects each car to mobile, satellite and GPS networks. . . The trend toward hybrid and electric vehicles will only accelerate the software shift, electric cars are completely computer controlled. And the creation of software-powered driverless cars is already under way at Google and the major car companies.”

Fast-forward to 2019, some of the most valuable companies in the world are literally software giants. The growth of the software industry is a global trend as giant technology companies now have combined stock value in trillions of dollars with significant contribution to the United States economy. Nigeria, being a leading light on the African continent, is expected to really follow this global trend, along with other African countries, such as Kenya, South Africa and Egypt, but unfortunately, Nigeria is currently experiencing a dearth of software talent, losing billions of naira annually to foreign software companies and licences.

Nigeria has, for some time now, been clamouring for the diversification of the economy away from the oil sector from which it generates the bulk of its revenue. To this end, two other sectors of the economy have been identified as being capable of taking up this challenge from the oil sector. The two sectors so identified are the agriculture and the technology sectors of the economy.

Sometime in the middle of 2018, the Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Okechukwu Enelamah, told the international community at a gathering that, the digital economy was projected to generate $88bn for Nigeria and create up to three million jobs in the next three years. For this to happen, however, there is the need to put in a lot of efforts to rally the youths in the country that are capable of making this to happen and give them some guidance and direction. Both the government and the private sector should be involved in the mobilisation of the country’s youth population for investments in start-ups that will, eventually, set the country on the right path to achieving technological feats.

The section of the Nigerian youth population that are venturing into start-ups in various fields, for instance, should be encouraged to scale, through the patronage of their products, solutions and services by, both the government and the private sector. This will be in line with the Federal Government’s policy on local content input.

One fintech start-up that is making efforts at reaching out to a section of the youths in this country is Voguepay. It has decided to offer assistance to a section of the population that it believes will be relevant to the society, both within the citadels and outside it after graduation.

To this end, the company has partnered with the Nigerian Association of Computer Science Students, a critical base and source for talents that are capable of solving some of our national problems, if given a helping hand.

“VoguePay is contributing to the growth of local software talents in order to boost the economy. Through our corporate social initiative, we now work with more than 300,000 students, studying Computer Science in — Finish Reading on the Punch