It really makes sense when Peter Drucker-a business philosopher says the very best way to predict the future is to create it. Realizing that Technology is one vital sector that impacts on every aspect of the economy, be it Health, Agriculture, Education, Finance and also governance, helps nations make adequate budget and plan for her technology needs and development. Therefore, Tech development is never achieved by wishful thought or speeches. A conscious, strategic effort and planning will make this happen!
Over the years, as an active player in the sector organizing tech events and promoting technology development in Nigeria,I have tried to predict or at least make a guess into the future and technology landscape of Nigeria as experts from developed technology- economy do. The truth of where we are now is that it has been by the effort of individuals and few organisations who are determined to make Nigeria proud in the global arena where other tech giants play. Government over the years, has continuously played lip service to real technology development in Nigeria. If we have achieved any milestone right now in Nigeria .it has been without focus therefore it cannot be measured and hence no one can accurately predict where we need to be.
2012 was actually a year where a lot happened. For me, one of the good things that i can remember right now that will make for a great tech development in 2013 is the appointment of a minister of Communications Technology-Mrs Omobola Johnson who i can quickly say she knows what it takes to pioneer development in this enviable sector said to worth over 6 billion dollars.
The lack of development in Nigeria is attributed to lack of visionary leaders, good leadership and good governance,they are the problem of technology development in Nigeria.
Interestingly for ones i feel things are beginning to change into a positive and structured manner for the industry, Last year saw the articulation of an ICT policy that will help develop a road map for the sector. Experts in the sector have over the years clamored for such policy that will galvanize and direct the practice and activity of this vital sector. With the appointment of Mrs Omobola Johnson, as the Minister of Communications Technology, things are beginning to shape up. Stakeholders in the technology space were given opportunity to make input to the policy which i believe its implementation will start this year.
It is worthy to recall that before the ministry of Communications Technology came into existence, we have had for several years the ministry of science and technology and related agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of technology development such as NITDA, NOTAP, NIGCOMSAT, Galaxy backbone etc that have really failed to deliver on their mandate. Most Nigerians even in the Tech space hardly know of these institutions. There is a great need to review the activities of these agencies whose impact have never being felt over these years of their exiatence.
For me the following will influence the ecosystem in no small measure.
-Government willingness to genuinely support Technology development in Nigeria will be a major boost:
Government’s active drive of the sector is key to the great technology development, for example If the ICT policy is being implemented from this year, one of the things that will happen is a more focused and structured ecosystem or call it ICT sector. I expect The ICT policy like I said earlier will galvanise the divergent views and activities of key players, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government(MDAs) involved in Technology development, and stakeholders in the sector.The proper implementation of different ideas and initiative of the ministry of Communications Technology will keep hope alive for a brighter days ahead. Am particularly interested to see the Technlogy Incubabtion/innovation centres in Lagos and Calabar take off,the techlaunchpad initiative, The venture capital fund which the minister said will play an important role in catalysing this industry and take her to where it really should be.
Government’s plan of broadband expansion so that the rural areas can have internet access is a laudable one, a committee set up by government is working out something right now. This will help distribute effectively several terabit of bandwidth already with us that needs to get to the last mile(man).All of these and more good plans of the government( if well implemented )will show light like never before for the years ahead starting from 2013.
– The activity of the Software industry through Software Nigeria is one to watch, it has a great potential to put Nigeria in her pride of place.
-More avenues will be created for increased awareness in Technology Entrepreneurship among the Youth population
-Reforming the non performing agencies like NITDA,NICOMSAT etc.
-Innovation and better regulation in the Telecoms sector
-Broadband expansion to last mile users
-Application of Technology in other sectors like health, Agriculture, Education
-And of course i won”t forget the impact of having a stable power supply,good security of lives and property in the country,will bring to all.Sounding very optimistic with this,we are set to see a major leap frog in Technology development in Nigeria in 2013.