Nigeria told ‘not to miss fourth industrial revolution’

Nigeria told ‘not to miss fourth industrial revolution’

Nigeria told ‘not to miss fourth industrial revolution’

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Nigeria must not miss the fourth industrial revolution spreading across emerging and developed economies, Dr Isa Pantanmi, Director General at  National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said.

The chief of the Nigerian IT agency, who says Nigeria missed out in the other revolutions says NITDA has developed a strategic roadmap to address the issues that are slowing down the growth of information and communication technology (ICT) in the country.

NITDA is the government agency set up to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria, Pantanmi says.

The NITDA chief said this while delivering the keynote at the 2018 President’s Dinner of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) held weekend in Lagos explains that his agency is not resting on his oars in expediting action on the implementation and enforcement of the various executive orders on local content.

The first industrial revolution occurred in the late 1700s, that is the era of factories, the second during the early 20th century (automobiles) and the third after the world war II (computers). The occurrence of these revolutions resulted in products being manufactured faster and with higher consistency.

Startup Friday
People seen walking at the Tech Plus conferences and exhibitions in Lagos

”The agency  wishes to set the country on a path to compete with other countries around the world”, the NITDA chief told attendees at the dinner that gathered captain of industry, ICT practitioners and the press.

According to him, the strategic roadmap focused on seven areas that are believed to be of National importance namely: Local Content Development, Information Technology Regulation, Cyber Security, Capacity Building, Promotion of Government Digital Services, Digital Job Creation and Digital Inclusion.

This is in line with the National ICT Roadmap 2017 – 2020 which focuses on these pillars: Governance, Policy, Legal & Regulatory framework, Industry & Infrastructure and Capacity Building.

The NITDA chief says the dinner with theme “The Fourth Industrial Revolution – A Golden Opportunity for Nigeria” is apt as Professor klaus Schwab in his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution stated that we are in the middle of another industrial revolution, which is also our fourth.

The first industrial revolution occurred in the late 1700s, that is the era of factories, the second during the early 20th century (automobiles) and the third after the world war II (computers). The occurrence of these revolutions resulted in products being manufactured faster and with higher consistency.

He says the industrial revolution we are experiencing now, commonly referred to as Industry 4.0, is powered by advancements that include smart manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Some of the reality of Industry 4.0 includes seeing around corners in 360, that is new tools allowing companies to create and test situations in the virtual world, this allows the simulations of the design process before the actual product is created.

According to Pantami, ”this helps to reduce cost , view the fourth wave in 3D – allows the seamless creation of tangible products using a single machine. This gives us the ability to mass produce and create products leading to economy of scale etcetera.”

Also speaking at the dinner  Olorogun, James Emadoye, president  ISPON, said that the advancement of Nigerian local content in software development, remain an indispensable factor in our history as a country

According to him, “the most important resource in any endeavour has been widely-recognized as the human resource. Every other resource, processes or even automation, in most cases, are objects that are under human control.

“We cannot thank God enough that he has endowed us with smart, strong and enterprising people. Other nations are looking for Nigerians in every sphere of human endeavor to help build their system”, he said.

The ISPON President says Nigerians are doing exploits in every nook and cranny of the world, which of course has become a global village without boundaries, made possible by technology of which software is the domain.

ISPON believes that if Nigerians support local content, Nigeria can record some remarkable achievement in global software marketplace.

”We must remove the conditional statement ‘if’, we must support Local Content; we must ensure that the letter and the spirit of Executive Orders 003 and 005 are brought to the fore and remain our guiding principles in all our business transactions, in the overall interest of our national development.”

”We must remove the conditional statement ‘if’, we must support Local Content; we must ensure that the letter and the spirit of Executive Orders 003 and 005 are brought to the fore and remain our guiding principles in all our business transactions, in the overall interest of our national development.”

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

The Executive Orders mandate all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to have at least 40% of local content in their procurement processes.

Stating the significance of active collaboration with professional associations like ISPON, NCS and CPN, he noted that enforcing Presidential orders will require the utmost vigilance by all enforcement departments of government as well as security agencies.

The recently signed Executive Orders by the Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, will finally begin to give local software industry and practitioners a chance to improve their skills and products with minimal stifling competition from foreign firms.

The Federal Government needs to enthrone a National Software Policy Strategy and related Legislation and indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians to give the country a chance to develop for the sake of our children and the generation unborn, the ISPON President says.

“We just cannot continue the same ways that have failed us. It is time we change our ways. Software-Nigeria is the sustainable way forward for our national accelerated development in the knowledge economy which is currently driving the 4th industrial revolution,” he says.

Also speaking at the event  Professor Charles Uwadia, President and Chairman-in-Council of Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), explains that software is at the heart of information Technology and computing and that implementation of local content policy is significant as it is about the future of our children.

“If we don’t implement it, we will continue to have brain drain in the country”, Uwadia says.

Similarly,Professor Adesola Aderounmu, President of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), call on government to create enabling environment for people to go into software development adding that software is going to rule the world. “Software development will help to solve unemployment in the country.”

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