The National Association of Computing Students (NACOS) has called on the Nigerian government and regulatory bodies to promote local content in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
NACOS made the call at a press conference organised in collaboration with its official hackathon sponsor, Financial Services Innovators, according to a statement issued on Friday by Plexus Media Interlinks, the public relations agency to FSI.
Speaking ahead of its yearly innovation and software summit, the President of NACOS, Olamilekan Abolade, said, “We believe this is a time we should start patronising our local content solutions. If you see Information Technology students coming together to put out some solutions, I think we should give them the environment, just like FSI is doing.”
According to the eighth pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020 – 2030, there is provision of policy framework that gives preference to digitally-skilled Nigerians.
The pillar identifies jobs that are currently being outsourced and supports the repatriation of the jobs to digitally-skilled Nigerians. It also provides for the promotion and adoption of indigenous content that will enable Nigeria to benefit from the increasingly global digital technology market.
NACOS is hosting this year’s event, with FSI as lead sponsor, to provide opportunities for incubators and investors.
“We believe that there have been a lot of bridges between the student community and the industry. So we have partnered with FSI in order to achieve and fulfil our dreams,” Abolade said. “With FSI coming onboard for the innovation challenge, we believe that some of these people should be able to pitch one or two innovations to investing.”
The Executive Director of FSI, Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, said: “Occasionally, we look at Gen-Z, and these students that fall under that category. So, we are trying to identify the next fintech talents in Nigeria that will put the country on the global map. We have heard a lot about Flutterwave and Paystack, we want to identify those talents in tertiary institutions. This is why we are partnering with them.
“We will provide a form of mentorship, guidance and provide employment opportunities for them, hence we have other partners working with us.”
FSI partnered NACOS with N2.5m, and Abolade believes with this prize, students will be able to promote the Nigerian IT ecosystem.
Winner of the challenge gets N1m prize money, the first runner-up N500,000, second runner up with N300,000, while the fourth to tenth positions get 100,000 each.