The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, has said that Nigeria has the prospect of earning up to $40 billion annually if it can train more software developers.
Inuwa stated this on 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 4 million software developers globally and that Nigeria could supply 2 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.
According to him, before the PwC report, the Agency had launched a 1 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.
Competitive advantage: Highlighting the competitive advantage that could give Nigeria the edge in the global software development ecosystem, Inuwa said:
- Globally we have a competitive advantage in terms of our youthful population and 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.
- 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 4 million developers globally. And Nigeria can conveniently provide 2 million developers
- On average, a developer earns between 25,000 US dollars to 130,000 US dollars. 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 2 million developers to the global value chain, Nigeria will earn 40 billion US dollars 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.
Private sector support: Emphasising the need for the private sector to keep supporting the Agency through the payment of the annual technology development levy, the NITDA DG urged 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.
While addressing participants at the meeting which comprises representatives of telecom companies, banks, insurance, and other IT-enabled companies, the Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, reminded the stakeholders that the NITDA is funded through the payment of a levy of 1% of profit before tax of companies and enterprises enumerated in the 3rd schedule of the NITDA Act which includes pension managers and pension related companies, telecommunication companies, cyber companies, insurance companies and banks/other financial institutions.
Nami, who was represented at the meeting by Group Lead, General Tax Operations Group, FIRS, Abba Kabiru, said the FIRS would continue to support NITDA to achieve its mandate of implementing National Information Technology policies, developing and regulating Information Technology for sustainable development and being the prime catalyst for transforming Nigeria into an IT driven economy.
Leave a Reply