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We will enforce the new orders on local content -NITDA DG

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Comparing notes. NITDA's boss with software stakeholders
Comparing notes. NITDA’s boss with software stakeholders. Extreme Right is Director of ICT at the Ministry of Communications, Mrs. Moni Udoh who represented the Communications Minister.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has assured stakeholders in the local software industry that it will fully implement the “Executive Order 3 On Support of Local Content Procurement by the Federal Government and the Presidential Executive Order 5 for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content In Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology” issued yesterday, by the presidency.

The Director General and CEO of the NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, while speaking  at the Nigerian Software Stakeholders Roundtable today in Lagos said software developers and investors in the sub-sector should have the assurance that the agency will put the executive orders positively to the advantage of local software companies.

Also at the event, the Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu tasked software stakeholders on the need to create a common framework to leverage on government’s support for indigenous developers. His words: “I am particularly delighted that this roundtable meeting of stakeholders seeks to create an agenda to strategically position indigenous software development as a significant area of endeavour in Nigeria and to chart a map to unlock the potential of young Nigerians in creating solutions to solve complex challenges.

“Our software industry has grown over the years to produce local and regional brands. In addition, our software developers are continuing to do us proud both locally and internationally. This, to my mind is commendable.”

The NITDA boss, on his own, said software developers should consider the NITDA a strategic partner in the enforcement of the new orders.

“The Order also empowers agencies like NITDA to provide comprehensive database of verifiable skills and capacities in ICT to ensure only indigenous companies are considered for procurements where capacity is available locally.

“Therefore, with this opportunity and support from the current administration, we are here to discuss as a stakeholders in our country; hubs, private sector, government agencies, academia and trade groups” Pantami told his audience of majorly local software companies under the auspices of the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON).

“This meeting is an important one as the Federal Government is assiduously working hard to diversify Nigeria’s national income and to harness efficiencies that will deliver better governance to Nigerians. It is clear that ICT is at the centre of these efforts.

“I’m delighted to note that second only to the Oil and Gas sector, ICT is at the forefront of driving a local content initiative, which is anchored on ensuring Nigeria leverages on local capacities to develop the economy, utilize national resource and create opportunities for Nigerians,” added Pantami to his delighted audience.

Director of ICT Centre, Delta State, Chris Uwaje and other stakeholders at the roundtable
Director of ICT Centre, Delta State, Chris Uwaje and other stakeholders at the roundtable

Offshore, Nigerian software output is held in high esteem but local reception for the solutions is still poor. A local content policy by government to encourage patronage by the public sector has been largely ignored. But government is intent to ensure that solutions by indigenous developers gain traction to conserve FOREX and encourage the growth of the sector as a substitute to crude oil export. In the last three years, Remita, an indigenous software solution by SystemSpecs Limited, has become the poster child for made in Nigeria solutions. Remita manages the entire portfolio of Nigerian public payment systems.

Pantami acknowledged this much. His words: “Notably, software development is a shining example of Nigeria’s capacity to effectively proffer solutions to complex problems, create opportunities and develop a pipeline of young entrepreneurs who we celebrate every day.  In administration of government today, the effect of projects like  the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS),Integrated Payroll and Personnel Systems( IPPIS) and the Treasury Single Account  (TSA)  demonstrates how germane ICT is to a properly and efficiently run government.

“The exploits of Nigerians in Financial Technology (Fintech), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools and mobile application development is acknowledged globally. Recently, an International report produced by Hackrank placed Nigeria in the top 50 software developing countries in the world.  This is notable, but clearly isn’t good enough for the effort and potential we have witnessed in the last three to five years. We can do better and should do better, this is exactly why we are gathered here.”

-Cullled from www.itedgenews.ng

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THE NATION

Why DSS must obey court order, release Dasuki – APC chieftain, Orji Kalu

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A former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, has said if court has ordered the release of former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, then security agencies should comply with the order.

Kalu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Sunday.

He noted that the various tiers of government, individuals and corporate entities should have respect for the decisions of the courts.

According to Kalu, “We are making many unlawful things possible.

“If a court issues an order that Sambo Dasuki be released, it should be obeyed.

“If we Nigerians genuinely want democracy to endure, we should learn how to respect the laws of the land.

“The law of the land is our constitution and any pronouncement made by the court based on the constitution should be obeyed.’’

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THE NATION

Ortom: No amount of persecution will make me return to APC

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Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, says no amount of “torment or persecution” will make him reconsider his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement issued on his behalf by Terver Akase, his chief press secretary, the governor accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of being a strike squad of the ruling party.

He also alleged that the federal government had been using the anti-graft agency to “cripple governance in the state.”

“After succumbing to nationwide condemnation of its illegal freezing of Benue State Government accounts, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has resorted to yet another shameful act in its desperation to cripple governance in the state,” the statement read.

“The anti-graft agency’s latest move is the bandying of figures in national dailies claiming that such figures are those of transactions in the accounts owned by the Benue State Government.

“It released figures allegedly withdrawn from the Benue State Government accounts without disclosing the dates of the withdrawals and the period during which they were made.

“The commission has also not been able to state accounts into which such monies withdrawn were paid to prove that the funds had been diverted.

“EFCC is contented with publishing the figures without stating how impropriety has been established.

“Are government monies supposed to be kept in the accounts indefinitely without expenditure? Their objective is apparently to give Governor Samuel Ortom and his administration a bad name.

“On this score, it is clear that the EFCC has now become both a strike squad of the APC for torment, and their law court for the trial and conviction of political opponents.

“The commission may torment and persecute Governor Ortom and his subordinates on the directives of the powers that be as much as it serves their purposes, but he will neither be distracted nor reconsider his defection from APC.”

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Osinbajo berates gospel preachers for failure to preach against corruption

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Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has berated gospel preachers for failing to lend support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war by failing to preach against the scourge.

Speaking at the 30th National Biennial Conference of the Students Christian Movement (SCM) of Nigeria holding in Enugu, Osinbajo noted that preachers were preoccupied with preaching prosperity rather than righteousness.

“Very rarely do you hear our preachers talk about corruption from their pulpits. If a nation is not righteous nothing will help it.”

Osinbajo said that the problem with Nigeria was neither ethnicity nor religion but systemic corruption.He said that corruption had been so entrenched in the country that if you dare challenge it, you will be in the minority.

He, however, challenged the youths to change the narrative and make the difference by checking the impunity of those that had stolen the resources of the country.

“Our problem in this country is not ethnicity or religion; it is not about Christians or Muslims. Our problems are the same wherever you go in this country.

“The story of our country is about good and evil. It is about those that have left us in this condition by stealing our common resources. Do not let anyone deceive you.”

The acting president challenged members of SCM to ensure that the movement becomes one of the tools that will move the country forward. “You should understand that our country can be delivered by people like you.”

According to him, young Christians have special and distinct roles to play in the transformation of the country which is superior to those of other sets of people.

“All of the great nations of the world were transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not a gospel that tickles people’s imaginations or dwells on prosperity.

“It is not a gospel that fits your fancy. It is a gospel that teaches that righteousness exalts a nation.”

Osibanjo appealed to Nigerians to stand against the plundering of the nation’s resources as well as support the anti-corruption initiative of the Federal Government, irrespective of party affiliations.

Earlier in his address, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State commended the organisers of the event for a successful convention, stating that Christians needed such events in order to seek spiritual reformation and renaissance, considering the situation in the world.

He said that Christians also needed to contribute their quota toward promoting good living among Nigerians.

Ugwuanyi urged Nigerians to continue to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and for the peace of the nation.

In an address of welcome, the National President of SCM, Rev. Eric Ighalo, commended Osinbajo for honouring their invitation.

Ighalo said that the conference was about active involvement of youths in reversing the problems that had held the country down through dialogue, collaboration and contention.

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