Software Development

Nigeria Spends $1.09bn On Software Acquisition

Records from the International Trade Centre show that Nigeria has spent $1.09bn on software acquisition and importation of computer services into Nigeria for the past five years.

 In 2016, Software and computer services worth $123.89m were imported which increased to $216.57m in 2017, $257.55m in 2018, declined to $159.28m in 2019; and surged to $336.43m in 2020. 

However, data for the year  2021 was missing on the trade organization’s portal. Since then, experts have spoken against the huge nation’s reliance on foreign software.

Report from the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion 

A report from the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion states that software makes up about 70 percent of the nation’s technological imports. Leaving 77 percent of foreign software in use and 23 percent locally sourced. Data has it that telecommunication firms spend an estimated $250m on network software licensing. 

In this regard, the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Communications Sector, states that “there is sufficient capacity for the indigenous development of this software and services, but the industry currently has a high level of dependence on foreign software and services. Indigenous providers can benefit from the many opportunities in the services focus area.”

Increase in Population of Developers

The nation’s dependence on foreign software has witnessed growth in the population of software developers. In 2021, google has it that the population increased by 6 percent making a total hit of 84,000.

A report reaching us says a high number of developers work at android and web app development firms while local start-ups hire more than half of these developers. 38 percent of them work remotely in at least one foreign company.

Furthermore, the report states that Increased global demand for remote tech talent, which was accelerated by the pandemic, created more remote employment opportunities for African developers. Finally, local businesses increased their use of the Internet and hired developers to help them grow their businesses online.

This gave rise to the increase in the number of African developers getting full-time jobs from the rise in demand from local startups and the global demand for remote technical talent. During this time, the professional Nigerian software developers’ population had increased to 5,000.

Senior Partner, e86 Limited, Olugbenga Odeyemi Speaks

From the trend in foreign software usage, the Senior Partner, e86 Limited, Olugbenga Odeyemi, said, “I think the starting point is to find out those who are still importing software and their interest in doing that.

“By now, it should be clear to everyone that Nigeria has the best hands in the software industry. This is very clear when you look at the startup space and when you consider how tech giants like Microsoft, Twitter, Google, and Amazon have recently turned to Nigeria to hire software engineers”.

He concluded his statement saying “If we don’t appreciate our own, we can see how international tech companies are swooping in to take away some of our experienced hands. It can only get better for software engineers as the demand will continue to go up”