FG seeks expansion of Nigeria’s software sub-sector

The Federal Government through the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has said that quality software development will be essential in expanding Nigeria’s digital economy.

Pantami made the remark at the first Software Testing Conference in Nigeria themed, ‘Impact of Software Quality Assurance in the Nigerian Digital Economy’, organised by Nigeria Software Testing Qualification Board (NGSTQB) in Lagos.

About a decade ago, the then Chairman of Nigeria Software Development Initiative (NSDI), Jim Ovia, estimated the size of Nigeria’s software industry to be over N15 billion, with an estimated import value of software products of $900 million.

At the forum, Pantami acknowledged the importance of software in global development cannot be over-emphasised, hence software powers the hardware, and most of the innovations in all sectors and spheres of life.

“If you look at the world’s advancement in the Internet economy, transportation, financial services, power, cyber security and many life endeavours; software is the secret to that success. I can categorically say that the world would not have achieved much if there was no invention of software.

“The article by Jeff Lawson in the Harvard Business Review argued that in the digital economy, your software is your competitive advantage.

“He said ‘many companies respond to digital competition by embracing methodologies like agile, building ‘innovation centres,’ acquiring startups, or outsourcing app development to consulting firms. But the true disruptors know that in the digital economy, whoever builds the best software wins. Companies that want to compete for the need to empower their developers and adopt a ‘software mindset,” he said.

According to him, this same argument applies to any country that wants to succeed in the digital economy era. “We have seen the implication of this during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technology (especially ICT) industry, which is powered by software benefited the most. The industry’s growth skyrocketed.”

The Minister, who spoke through Dr. Falilat Jimoh, said, however, one of the greatest challenges the software industry is facing today is issues of quality.

He referred to a report by Synopsis Inc in the U.S., which finds that many organisations allow software quality to lag behind other objectives, but that lack of attention comes at a steep price.

“In 2020, the cost of poor software quality in the U.S. was approximately $2.08 trillion. That is why software quality assurance and testing is a big industry today. According to a comprehensive research report by Market Research Future (MRFR), ‘Software Quality Assurance Market information by Solution, by Deployment, by Organization Size and Region has been forecast to reach $14.01 billion market size by 2027.”

According to him, there is, therefore, a need to take full advantage of the opportunities the software industry is going to play in the digital economy growth while ensuring the challenges that could hinder software quality do not thwart the progress we have collectively in the digital economy sector.

Pantami, therefore, said that the theme of the first edition of the Software Testing Conference: ‘Impact of Software Quality Assurance in the Nigerian Digital Economy’ is apt as effective software quality assurance in the Nigerian Digital Economy will greatly impact the digital economy’s accelerated growth.

The minister, who said the ICT sector provided three unprecedented contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country in the last three years, namely 14.07 per cent in Q1 2020, 17.92 per cent in Q2 2021and 18.44 per cent in Q2 2022, said this has shown that the digital economy can greatly support the traditional economy.

Source: Guardian.ng

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