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Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson has said that for Nigeria to be a software capable country in the knowledge economy, more start-ups were needed in software coding, and assured that her ministry will intervene in software coding academy through necessary support.

Although the number of start-ups in software coding will increase with time, the Minister, said that all hands must be on deck if the country must achieve a robust and vibrant software industry.

Lamenting that billions of naira leave the country every year as license and other fees to foreign software companies, Mrs Johnson said that Nigeria has enough capacity to build software code warriors for global competitiveness, urging over 100 students from tertiary institutions participating in the software contest to use software for job creation.

At the event which attracted a capacity audience including university vice-chancellors and the United Nation official, the minister said: “We need to tackle the broader challenge of how we take our promising software developers and software engineers and help them to become entrepreneurs that can take advantage of opportunities,” she said.

Be more innovative

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She charged local software engineers to be more innovative and original, saying “this year’s theme is a good one as it not only speaks of the importance of software as a tool to improve productivity in the workforce, be it public or private sector but also alludes to the to the role that software plays, dare I say in the transformation of economies.

“Software has indeed accelerated productivity in the workplace , for example the simple word processing tools and spreadsheet tools that we had in the 80’s to the more encompassing office productivity tools such as the Microsoft Office suite” she said.

An assessment of Nigeria’s software industry landscape, according to her revealed that the country needed to focus on innovation among others to tackle this challenges.

‘We have to keep sight of the fact that brilliantly written lines of code must still be considered as building blocks for the successful software companies that must be our ultimate target in building a viable software industry”, she explained

Governor of Cross River State, Senator Lyel Imoke told the gathering that future survivability of the country lies in the students’ start-ups that have participated in the software competition.

Represented by his Special Assistant on ICT , Odo Effiong, the governor told the students to use software solutions developed for the contest to solve problems in their local communities, saying that his government is promoting the 2013 national software competition with N7.5 million.

However, 70 percent of the fund, it was learnt will go to the winners while the remaining 30 percent will be kept as seed fund for mentoring and innovation.

 

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