Tim Akano, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of New Horizons, an independent IT training organisation reckons that as far as ICT is concerned, the country should have moved beyond being a consumer of ICT products to being a producer. Akano reasoned that if one takes some countries like Israel and India into consideration, given that they make a lot of income from producer-based ICT products, Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa could do same.
Although he reluctantly agreed that ICT’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP has significantly increased in the last ten years, he emphasised that the country still has a long way to go.
“There is no reason why ICT should not contribute up to 25 to 30 per cent of our GDP. We have the manpower, that is the young people and we have the market, but what happens in this country presently is that the ICT that powers virtually all the big companies are mostly foreign based. For instance, the banks in Nigeria, most of the software they use are foreign based. I think we should move from being a consumer to being a producer,” Akano said.
The CEO also took some time to educate Nigerians on the use of internet. According to him, a lot of Nigerians ignorantly believe that ICT begins and ends with phone calls and probably internet usage.
Akano said placing phone calls does not make anyone ICT compliant. “Telephoning is just communication, which is just a sub-set of ICT. ICT is information, communication and technology. So, when you can do phone calls that is just a tiny portion of ICT. When you can do email, that is also communication but also a tiny portion of ICT. ICT is about translating information into a product and then coming up with a technological sense solution that can address human problems,” the boss corrected.