Chris-UwajeWelcome to the digital universe! Welcome to the world of Computer Life-Code! If Computer Code is life, can it be said that Nigeria is a Codeless Nation? The gravity, complexly and implication of the above configured question cannot be over emphasized but intricately challenging. Indeed, it is an albatross to nation building and development; based on the fact that a Codeless Society within the context of 21st century global development and competitiveness is more or less a dead nation!  In other words, she has lost the right for existence and national survivability before the dawn of the Information Society (IS).

The reason why a 21st Century Codeless Society should be classified as a dead or non-existent nation is due to the fact that humanity now lives in a  software-first world,  and any nation which cannot originate, create, control, defend and preserve her knowledge base in coded format is not fit to exist!.

Currently, Computer Code has become new Universe and will continue to dictate and control the totality of human life – today and in the future! Today, the new embodiment of the life of our collective humanity is originated and driven in zeros and ones – which exist in an electronic flip-flop state, known as computer code. The consolation is that Nigeria is indeed NOT a Computer Codeless Nation, but an abandoned and untapped sovereign resource of computer knowledge and Software Code.

There are so much value-added computer application codes that Nigeria can contribute to the world, if the enabling environment and legislations are provided. With about 60 per cent bubbling and Internet savvy youth population out of an energetic confluence of more than 150 million people, Nigeria is without any fear of contradiction, a hot contender for the global e-Knowledge Olympiad. In clear terms, Nigeria can earn a ten fold from Computer Codes, compared to what she currently earns from the Crude Oil Wells!

Computer Code is pure magic, economic and political power, national security, prosperity, wealth creation, development sustainability, Art and Cultural protection and productivity, knowledge accelerator and multiplier, 21st Century High Risk manager, scientific innovator and creative computational machinery – all rapped into a whole.  It is the New World Order, the New Economy and the ultimate Power.

The gravity of the above message is that Nations who neglect the fundamental responsibility of establishing sustainable Framework and inter-disciplinary capacities for harnessing her software knowledge potential and resource will be extinguished from the committee of existing and relevant nations of the 21st century. Based on informed Professional findings, the above is not negotiable!

For the purpose of this write-up and clarity of its understanding, it should be emphasized that computer code can simply be defined as the life-wire and centre of gravity of the emerging knowledge-centric Information Society (IS).  Moreover, the source code within Computer Codes is the engine room of our new universe.

Source Code is a fundamental key in a Software Programming Language (SPL) which unlocks the misery and meaning of any fully executable description of a software system – which includes a machine code, very high level languages and executable graphical representations of systems.

Software Engineering Development and Programming languages are not only useful to command computers; they have also increasingly become the central  medium for human communication. This vindicates the school of thought that communication is secondary to and indeed a subset of knowledge – which is an extraction of Information activity clusters. In other words, it may rightly be argued, that it is an absurdity to establish a Ministry of Communications Technology!  A Ministry of What-for-What?

According to Lenski in his scientific analysis on national development – taking a more modern approach – he focuses his theory on Information. The more information and knowledge (especially allowing the shaping of natural environment) a given society has, the more advanced it is. He identifies four stages of human development, based on advances in the history of communication. In the first stage, information is passed by genes.

In the second, when humans gain intelligence, they can learn and pass information by experience. In the third, the humans start using signs and develop logic. In the fourth, they can create symbols, develop language and writing skills.. Advancements in the technology of harnessing communication translate into advancements in the economic system and political system, distribution of goods, social inequality and other spheres of social life. He also differentiates societies based on their level of information technology, communication and economic attainment models.

Therefore, our national development Roadmap should be strategically focused on a mission to preparing Nigerian for the 21st Century Knowledge Olympiad as a prerequisite for the participating in the Information Society.(IS).That should be the central vision of our national transformation agenda, if we must resolve the unspoken complex conflict in Nigeria such as keeping more than 30million slaves (of the underestimated 150 million) as House-Helps, Street Hawkers, Mai-Guards and R-Fundamentalism – which are thankless laborers to the “Okada and Pure Water Economy!”

If transformation is our mission, then the first thing to do to survive as a nation, is to transform the mindset of Nigerian youths with respect to constructive IT capacity building and utilization on the one hand, and that of the elders with respect to unveiling the “Technophobia” dynamics clogging the economic development process layers of our country and other developing entities in ECOWAS and the world – who are faced with mastering the challenges of 21st century technology and globalization.

It must be stated with all clarity, that Nigeria owes it a fundamental duty – not only to the African Continent, but indeed the various cluster of people of African decent in particular and the World in general – to massively invest in grooming knowledge-based Software Code Warriors (SCW) and/or Defenders.(SCD). Those are the machinery to defend the nation against external Hackers and Crackers at the economic, military and socio-political levels of digital attack.

Throwing Cyber law alone on Cybercriminals, in my opinion, is incapable of resolving the national cyber security and cybercrime challenges. An inclusive strategy of interdisciplinary e-knowledge collaborative defense is a better approach in minimizing the catastrophic consequences of the e-Tsunami looming in the Horizon. The Wikileak wire-leak experience is food for thought.

Computer Code Security and Legal Issues: It will be recalled that in a 2003 court case in the United States, it was ruled that source code should be considered a constitutionally protected form of free speech. Proponents of free speech argued that because source code conveys information to programmers, is written in a language, and can be used to share humour and other artistic pursuits, it is a protected form of communication.

One of the first court cases regarding the nature of source code as free speech involved University of California mathematics professor Dan Bernstein, who had published on the internet the source code for an encryption program that he created.

At the time, encryption algorithms were classified as munitions by the United States government; exporting encryption to other countries was considered an issue of national security, and had to be approved by the state department. The Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the US government on Bernstein’s behalf; the court ruled that source code was free speech, protected by the First Amendment.

Time-relativity as factor of digital development may indeed be running out on Nigeria, with respect to her e-Knowledge capability and competitiveness agenda.Technically, general-relativity is a metric theory of gravitation whose defining feature is its use of the Einstein Field Equations. The solutions of the field equations are metric tensors which define the topology of the space-time and how objects move inertially.

On the other hand, the Internet time was a common catchphrase that originated during the late-1990s Internet boom. During that period, Internet workforce community had come to believe that “everything moved faster on the ‘net”, because the Internet made the dissemination of information far easier and cheaper. This concept of “@ the speed-of-thought” and “Information phenomena” on the Internet continues to guide national and global development and hunt late-comers to the e-Knowledge community simultaneously.

In layman’s terms, “Internet Time” involves efficiencies inherent to digital processes and transactions that are generated through virtual reality of product and services clusters provided to consumers from one server. This way, the amount of time required to conduct simultaneous transactions is reduced to irrelevance, as everything is occurring, compressed at one single site.

All said, it is time for Nigeria to have a rethink about her Computer Codes and Software potentials and resources – without which her 21st Century development and global competitiveness cannot be actualized. Fact is, Time is running out real fast in re-aligning and ensuring our destiny and national survivability.

Chris Uwaje
Chris Uwaje: Known as the Oracle of the Nigerian IT Industry, Pioneered the conceptualization Framework and content drafting strategy for the establishment of the National Information Technology Development Policy for Nigeria. He is the former Regional Director for D-link International - West Africa. In 2008 he was crowned the IT Personality of the year. He has presented many IT conference papers at home and abroad. He is a speaker of international repute. Uwaje, who is very passionate about youth empowerment through ICT, before now, was the Principal Consultant and Chief Executive Officer of Connect Technologies Limited, (Developers of E-Government Solutions, Enterprise Banker Enterprise, Enterprise Knowledge Intelligence Groupware & Enterprise Cooperative Financials Application). He is an expert in Software Design and Engineering Solutions; Research, Design and Development (RD&D). His special professional focus: National & Regional IT Strategy and Policy; Coordinating Chairman, Council for West Africa Information Technology Professionals (CWAITP). President Cybersecurity NGO Global Network for Cybersolution, Past President of Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) and 1st Vice President of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON). Member, National Inter-Ministerial Committee on Software Development, Council Member, Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria. (CPN). Foundation Member, National Software Development Initiative (NSDI), Member, National Outsourcing Initiative by the Federal Government of Nigeria, He is a distinguished Fellow of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Fellow: Institute of Analysts and Programmers. U.K. Fellow: Institute of Certified Professional of UK; Former Council Member: Nigeria Computer Society (NCS). Pioneer Past President Global Network for Cyber Solution (NGO on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Chris Uwaje is reputed for his numerous articles concerning national and International issues on ICT.He is the President of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria(ISPON) Contact email:uwajenet@gmail.com

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