By Staff Reporter
IF adequately harnessed and backed with right policies, software development can earn Nigeria $40 billion revenue on a yearly basis.
The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, who said this, added that the country is blessed with the required talents to achieve this.
Inuwa spoke in Lagos, Tuesday, at a joint stakeholder meeting with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and all IT-enabled companies in Nigeria.
Citing a recent PwC report, which revealed that there was a need for about four million software developers globally and that Nigeria could supply two million of that talent given its youthful and talented population, Inuwa said training more software developers to meet this need would earn Nigeria revenue far higher than oil.
The NITDA DG noted that before the PwC report, the Agency had launched a one million software developers initiative to produce more software developers for the country. Under the initiative, he said a total of 215, 524 Nigerians have been trained so far.
Speaking on the competitive advantage that could give Nigeria the edge in the global software development ecosystem, Inuwa observed “globally we have a competitive advantage in terms of our youthful population and in terms of our natural talent. We have proven to the world that we are talented when it comes to sports, music, movies, and all that, so we can do the same thing in the area of technology.”
Inuwa said explained that the PwC report also talked about remote working because technology made it possible to live in Nigeria and work for a company in the US or Europe.
“So, they said today there is a need for about four million developers globally. And Nigeria can conveniently provide two million developers.
“On the average, a developer earns between $25,000 to $130,000, “So, let’s say because you are in Nigeria and you are working remotely, you will earn only $20,000, if we can provide those two million developers to the global value chain, Nigeria will earn $40 billion per annum, which is more than the remittance and oil and gas. Today we can say maybe we are earning nothing from oil and gas in terms of forex. So, this alone can solve our Forex challenge,” he stressed.
While calling for support and partnership, the NITDA DG said there is need for the private sector to keep supporting the agency through the payment of the yearly technology development levy.
He called on corporate organizations to key into the tech capacity-building agenda of the government.
“We want you to see this as an opportunity for us to build Nigerian talents. You will benefit more because the government will only create the value while you capture the values in terms of your services,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, who was represented by by Group Lead, General Tax Operations Group, FIRS, Abba Kabiru, reminded the stakeholders that the NITDA is funded through the payment of a levy of one per cent of profit before tax of companies and enterprises enumerated in the 3rd schedule of the NITDA Act which include pension managers and pension related companies, telecommunication companies, cyber companies, insurance companies and banks/other financial institutions.