• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

FG to receive first set of software developers for incubation

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The Federal Government is expected to receive the first batch of software developers next week that would undergo one year training at the Lagos Incubation Centre.

Accenture Consulting, the project management office (PMO), that is handling the ongoing selection process of software developers, said 10 teams would emerge at the end of the exercise, and would be handed over to the minister of communications technology, Omobola Johnson, who would in turn present them at the Lagos Incubation Centre for one-year training.

Analysts told BusinessDay that software and mobile applications development has indeed become a focus area for the Federal Government.

This is in view of the country’s earnest search for an alternative revenue source to oil and gas.

Statistics have shown that the value of India’s software exports is in excess of $50 billion annually. Government is also looking to replicate such successes in Nigeria – a country blessed with abundant human capital.

“The focus of the ministry between now and 2015 is to drive local content and skills development to create employment and sustain the industry. We also want to increase the contributions of the Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP). To achieve this objective, we would focus on software development, ICT entrepreneurship,” Johnson said at an industry forum.

The minister had early this year, launched the Techlaunchpad initiative that seeks to groom software developers and make their products marketable and acceptable within and outside Nigeria.

Adebayo Ebrahim, senior project manager for Techlaunchpad, who confirmed the ongoing selection exercise, said, “10 teams will be selected and sent to the Lagos Incubation Centre for one year where they will receive training on practical skills on how to further develop and improve on their software application.

He explained that the 10 teams would be handed over to the minister who would then present them at the incubation centre for hands-on practical training for one year.

The selection exercise, which commenced last week, is expected to end this week and the presentation done next week, Ebrahim said.

The training programme is the idea of Techlaunchpad, an initiative of the Federal Government, but has a joint sponsorship with the private sector.

The first batch training is for software developers who have applications for the oil and gas and the financial institutions in Nigeria. The two sectors are therefore co-sponsoring the training with the Federal Government, and providing mentorship for the developers. At the incubation centre, each team will have one chief information officer (CIO) of banks and oil & gas companies that will be providing mentorship to them all through the one year incubation period.

It is expected that at the end of one year incubation the developers would be able to come up with applications that will drive the oil & gas and the financial sector of the Nigerian economy and could be exported to other countries to address similar situation.

Most of the participants at the selection process said they got the information from internet, while browsing, and others said they were informed through the social media and newspapers.