Like in the health sector, the ICT sector is also going through the horrifying experience of amazingly intelligent skills exiting Nigeria to other nations.
These nations are now believed to be selling the exact skills back to the country at outrageous prices, which results in attendant capital flight.
With no precise figure disclosed yet, the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), who made the sad development known, demands that the Federal Government should declare emergency on ICT skills flight.
In a recent interview with the press in Lagos State, NCS President, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu revealed that swift action must be taken to prevent the situation whereby ICT skills will be scarce in Nigeria. He said the reason the country is in this state is because of the loopholes created due to the weak implementation of local content policy in the sector.
Prof Adesola said even with the official declaration, it is clear now that those in charge are not committed enough to implementing ICT Local Content Policy and it is no longer in doubt that Nigerian ICT companies are not being readied by the government to seize the benefits that are arising with emergent national ICT opportunities.
He added that the humiliating fact that there is no available platform to flaunt indigenous ICT solutions to the world at large in a way to ensure Nigeria is a remarkable earner from ICT is another disadvantage on its own.
His words, “Beyond the NITDA-led delegation to the yearly GITEX show in Dubai, when will government create a veritable platform to nurture, package and showcase successful ICT solutions developed in Nigeria on foreign missions, exhibitions and as technical aid to other countries?”
NCS disclosed that there are several FG and IT projects that will be able to put a stop to the rising unemployment in the country if only we can open and eyes to it and execute it the right way.
Prof Adesola continued, “One of such projects is the National Identity Management System (NIMS) project. NCS notes that the number of enrolments into the NIMS has accelerated as a result of a number of regulatory innovations introduced by the current administration such as the integration of the National Identity Number (NIN) into the issuance and renewal of International Passports by the Nigeria Immigration Service. Such regulatory innovations will definitely result in economic growth.
“It is in the light of the foregoing, NCS highlights the plight of one of our corporate members, Chams Plc (and Chams Consortium Ltd., (CCL)), a forefront operator of the National Identity Management System Concession (the Concession), which commenced officially in the year 2010. It is on record that Chams made huge investments, in excess of N9 billion into the concession.
“Chams, however, suffered many frustrations which eventually snowballed into an unresolved state of affairs. This is despite the fact that Chams Plc has submitted to an amicable resolution in furtherance of her faith in the present administration. NCS calls for urgent and decisive intervention to salvage Chams Plc’s position and allow Chams Plc and Chams Consortium Ltd reap the fruits of an amicable resolution freely entered into with the NIMC.”