Okeremi | New ISPON President renews hope for Software Nigeria

Okeremi | New ISPON President renews hope for Software Nigeria

Okeremi | New ISPON President renews hope for Software Nigeria

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Dr Yele Okeremi, the newly-elected President of Institute of Software Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) plans to change the fortunes of Software Nigeria through initiatives that changes the narrative of the country’s software industry.

The new ISPON President, in an exclusively interview with Technology Times in Lagos, unveiled the vision of the new leadership of the influential software advocacy group to promote growth in the Nigerian software industry.

Okeremi, who succeeded James Emadoye following the Annual General Meeting of ISPON is also the Chief Executive Officer of Precise Financial System (PFS), a software development company based in Lagos.

”We inherited a good foundation. We intend to build on that and one of the areas we intend to focus on is industry players. We intend to make the association a lot more relevant than ever before”, Okeremi tells Technology Times.

Dr Yele Okeremi, the newly-elected President of Institute of Software Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) seen during an interview with Technology Times in Lagos
Dr Yele Okeremi, the newly-elected President of Institute of Software Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) seen during an interview with Technology Times in Lagos

“We will be building a lot of bridges and building a lot of network particularly with the younger generation. One of the things we will do is to let the industry come as one and identify the challenges relating to our businesses” the ISPON President says.

“Let’s take a look at the industry players who are very successful. We have the likes of  Paystack, Andela, Paga, these are good players doing well but not all of them are indigenous companies, although they are resident in Nigeria. The interest of these companies is very little.”

According to Okeremi, ”so, one of the things we would do is to get all of these players together and identify what the challenges are, relating to each and every one of us and see how the industry will be able to solve some of those challenges.

”Our own aims and objectives is maximizing the interest of this country, ensuring that wealth is created within Nigeria, with Nigeria by Nigerians and for Nigeria.”

The ISPON President also expressed concern that Nigeria spends several billions of Naira annually on importation of software products and services annually.

Technology Times checks reveals that Nigeria loses approximately $2.8 billion annually from the importation of ICT goods and services, including a whopping $1 billion spent annually on software imports, according to figure by policy makers.

”Our own aims and objectives is maximizing the interest of this country, ensuring that wealth is created within Nigeria, with Nigeria by Nigerians and for Nigeria.”

  Dr Yele Okeremi, the newly-elected President of Institute of Software Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) seen during an interview with Technology Times in Lagos

Dr Yele Okeremi, the newly-elected President of Institute of Software Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) seen during an interview with Technology Times in Lagos

Okeremi who has a passion for the development of intellectual capital of the Black race and continues to advocate his position that irrespective of the conditions of the Black man, he is by no means inferior in intelligence to anyone else in the world.

Okeremi sees tremendous gains to be made from a Local Content Policy that encourages the development of local ICT products and services. ”Among other things, it will significantly reduce capital flight.”

The ISPON President says that “quite a number of people take decision not by knowledge but by buzz. I once heard a high profile public officer that there is no software industry in Nigeria. We need to understand that there is a lot being done in this country particularly in the software industry and we need to tell those stories and because most of these success stories are not told, that’s why people believe that Nigeria software product can’t stand side-by-side with foreign brands.”

Okeremi also promises what the new leadership of the software advocacy group will do to match words with action in realising its strategic objectives to grow Software Nigeria.

”What we will do as the new exec of ISPON is more of advocacy and we are not talking of advocacy of hype. We want to advocate based on fact, logic and sound reasoning”, Okeremi says.

Speaking on his plans for the startup ecosystem in Nigeria particularly for the software industry the ISPON president says that “I am an advocate for startups because I am an advocate for development. A lot of things are going to happen in the Nigerian ecosystem. But I don’t think we have enough startups in this country.”

For Okeremi, “startups should be springing up severally because we know the risk involved that not all of them will succeed but all of them will contribute to success and that’s the beauty.”

The ISPON President believes “we are in an environment that we still don’t understand the valve of failure. If someone fails, it doesn’t mean he is a failure. It only means he failed at doing that thing at that time and some of the failure doesn’t mean they are bad ideas. Some of those ideas are great ideas by great people who have come before their time.”

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Kolade Akinola Technology Journalist at Technology Times Mobile: + 234 (0) 807 401 6027

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