The Federal Government is set to collaborate with the Nigeria Software Testing Qualification Board (NGSTQB) in democratising software testing, which will see licensed professionals providing the services in the country.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, made this known at the weekend while delivering his keynote address at a one-day virtual workshop, organised by NGSTQB, themed: “Role of Software Testing in Nigeria’s Digital Economy.”
Part of the plan is to help the country mitigate the influx of foreign and substandard software. About a year ago, experts told The Guardian that Nigeria loses $400 million yearly to foreign software developers, especially software licence renewals without recourse to indigenous software that could perform the same task.
But at the virtual meeting, Pantami sought NGSTQB’s cooperation in improving the software sub-sector of the economy. Represented by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, the minister stated: “We want to see how we can license some of you to provide these services, that means if I develop software, I need to come to a certified tester to make sure I meet the standard quality assurance; all the basic bug-free and the vulnerability assessment before I am able to sell that software.”
He added: This will eliminate having the market loaded with vulnerable software. We are working on building the capacity of one million developers in the next 18 months, and we know we cannot do it alone – that is why we need people like you – to help us achieve this.
“We are already working with some multinationals to help us on this and we also need the indigenous people to key into this initiative, and we also need as many testers as developers.”
Pantami said to achieve the ambitious target of 95 per cent digital literacy, “we will need to build the literacy of citizens in order for them to understand and consume digital services.”
Earlier NGSTQB President, Boye Dare, said the board intends to work assiduously towards Nigeria being the hub for the outsourcing software testing market in Africa.
Dare noted that by this effort, “we believe we can achieve this by collaborating with major stakeholders in all different sectors in Nigeria by training and certifying 50,000 software testers in the next 36 months.”
NITDA’s Director of Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi, said as part of the agency’s regulatory functions, it had established the Software Testing and Quality Assurance framework to strengthen the software ecosystem.