Banking Software To be Produced in Nigeria

The Director-General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, NOTAP, Dr. Dan-Azumi Ibrahim, during the presentation of patent certificates to some institutions for their recent innovations , disclose that it has set in motion the local production of software for banking operations in Nigeria in partnership with the National Information Technology Development Agency.

Dr. Ibrahim said due to the demand and huge drain of the nation’s foreign exchange reserves through the use of the imported banking application. He further added that it will start refusing the application of banks for foreign software purchases as soon as the agency confirms availability of local alternatives.

He said, “We have a local content committee with the National Information Technology Development Agency. They are working tirelessly to see that we are able to survey, audit and assess the banking applications developed by Nigerians. Where the developers need assistance, the NITDA is there to further develop their capacities.

“Banks are the heavy consumers of software in the country. If you look at five items of software, four are on banking applications. This is our target – if we are able to develop banking applications in the nation, then we will help in reducing the level of foreign software consumption.

“It is difficult to quantify. If in one interaction a bank will spend close to $20m (and it is not just one software), you can imagine how heavy it is. So, this is our target. If we are able to develop banking software and we are comfortable with what we have developed, that will be the beginning of saving a lot of foreign exchange for the country.”

Furthermore, he said, “Our edict provides that if in our own opinion, the technology is readily available in the country, we will not register it. Development of software, particularly applications used by the banks, is still at an infant stage.

“When we are reliably informed that we have alternatives that can compete and deliver the job satisfactorily, we will give it a period of time within which to reduce the registration exercise before we finally reject any registration.”

Quite impressed with the output of some young Nigerian innovators, there are positive prospects for the Nigeria software industry in the future.

Those that received patent certificates at the ceremony included the Airfoce Institute of Technology which received a patent for Unmanned Ground Vehicle. Others that also received certificates are the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, which received three patents, and the National Institute for Oil Palm Research, which received two patents.

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