ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Solving national problems through technology [ICT Clinic]

There are over 101 national issues to reflect upon as Nigeria begins its 59th journey as an independent nation. Apart from the ‘hilarious’ display by politicians across various states, technology development and other salient issues, such as education, job creation and national integration are some of the issues that have been relegated to the background.
I belong to the school of thought that says the developmental destiny of any nation depends largely on its political leadership, but technological innovations may be the driver for a slow but organic development. Any technological innovation that would become a national legacy in Nigeria must be partly or majorly owned and developed locally.
A case in point here, is what SystemSpecs, a Nigerian-owned company is doing with Remita, an electronic payment platform, wholly developed in the country for local and international payment solutions. It is the robust software solutions that is powering Nigeria’s Treasury Single Account policy. The TSA is an IMF-recommended initiative, where all government’s funds are collected and managed, from a single banking account maintained at the Central Bank of Nigeria. Remita’s TSA’s success, has, for instance, enabled the government to reduce borrowing costs, extended credit facilities, improved fiscal policies and enhanced financial accountability among various institutions and MDAs.
Who would have thought that a Nigerian company could have handled such a complex setup that connects to the CBN, all the banks, thousands of organisations and many other APIs? Think about it for a moment, before the TSA was fully implemented, the government had over 20,000 accounts but today, through a click of a button, designated government officials can tell the financial situation of the country. That is the power of software!
My humble opinion is that one of the key ways Nigeria can gain respect in the international community, is through the development of innovative solutions that can solve some of our major national problems such as education, healthcare, power and many more. Sadly, Nigeria currently ranks 118th, out of the 126 most innovative countries in the world, with a score of 22.40, while Switzerland ranks number one with a score of 68.40 according to the Global Innovation Index.
This simply means, our country is not even in the first 100 countries with life-transforming innovations in the areas of research and development, productivity and variability of tech products, high-tech institutions/companies in computer and mobile device infrastructure, Internet, energy and chemical, military defence, hardware and software, educational institutions, advanced technology, market and business solutions, and even food security, among others.
Most advanced countries in the world are known for specific innovations that — Finish Reading on the Punch