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Nigeria tech space grossly underfunded, unprotected

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The Director-General, Delta State Innovation Hub, Mr Chris Uwaje, on Thursday said that the Nigerian tech space was grossly underfunded and unprotected.

Uwaje made the remark at a Quarterly Forum of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) held in Lagos.

The forum had the theme: “Local Content Development in Nigeria’s ICT Sector: Stimulant for National Economic Recovery.’’

According to him, the country builds people that migrate to other countries and their abilities are being used there.

“Government should put up an innovation hub whereby innovators are brought together to share their ideas and put it together for effective use in the country.

“This will encourage them to be more productive and ideas being lost to other countries will be reduced.’’

He also called for a mechanism that would ensure that 10 per cent of the national budget is earmarked for the development of the nation’s ICT ecosystem.

Uwaje said that the missing link and the challenge of local content was collaboration, urging for more of such activities among stakeholders.

He listed the way forward for the development of local content in the country as focusing on natural strength within the tech space, as well as capacity building from bottom up.

Uwaje listed others as including the servicing of the ecosystem not to be outsourced to foreigners, building knowledge labs in schools, and the regulation and registration of local content.

Keep Naira clean

Dr Emmanuel Eze, Chief Technology Officer/Executive Director, System Specs, urged that the focus of government should be on true local content.

According to him, this will ensure that the country develops technology for its use, which he said, could also be exported to other countries.

“The country has human resources that will enable it achieve this goal of local content utilisation.

“We can also create an economy that is dependent on ICT, and we have all the resources to achieve that,’’ he said.

Earlier, the President of NITRA, Mr Emma Okonji, called on the Federal Government to formulate a new policy that would protect local content development in the country.

According to him, it was also essential for them to make sure that the policy formulated should be fully implemented.

“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) should also be commended for its local content guidelines initiative which seek to help restructure and develop a strong indigenous ICT industry,’’ he said.

 

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