By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Newly elected president of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. Yele Okeremi, has declared part of his agenda his agenda to include fostering a more united ecosystem of software practitioners in the country and developing capacity in Nigerians to grow the industry.
ISPON is the industry’s professional body for indigenous software developers and practitioners in Nigeria. Established in 1999, it aims to create an enabling environment for local content developers (application and systems software) and software services.
But the association has often be seen as too weak in advocacy and engagement of policy makers with government on issues that affect indigenous developers.
Okeremi, who spoke to IT Edge News, said he was looking forward to building a stronger body that would address the evolving challenges of the industry. According to him, the goal of the institute is to contribute to the development of the country’s economy through software development and one of the ways that can happen is through a single-purpose-membership-framework where the industry is not fragmented.
“What we want to do is to ensure that the industry becomes very relevant in the development of this nation. There have been efforts in encouraging software development in-country. But I think one of the issue is that we have not looked at it globally, particularly from the practitioners’ standpoint. The industry still remains very fragmented and the very first thing we want to do is to get the industry together; the industry is not fragmented in itself, but the membership of ISPON is and that is a challenge. We want to get the industry standing strongly together.
“Secondly, we want to identify common challenges of industry practitioners and see how we can tackle these issues collectively. Because one of the challenges is when people are struggling and fighting individual causes using their limited resources, meanwhile so many other people are also fighting the same cause. But if we stand as an institute, a body, most of all these issues could have been dealt with at once. So this is an area I’m very interested in. Then, we want to be able to build capacity and tell our own success stories,” said Okeremi to IT Edge News in Lagos.
Okeremi is to lead the affairs of the institute for two years alongside other members of the newly elected National Executive Council (NEC). They are Mr. Cliff Bitrus who is the 1st. Vice-President; Mr. David Majomi, 2nd Vice-President; Mr. Lanre Adelanwa, General Secretary and Mr. Abiodun Falade, Treasurer. Mr. Bimbo Abioye was also elected Chairman, Policy and Strategy Committee.
Okeremi is the founder and CEO of Precise Financial System (PFS), an indigenous software company. Through his software company, he has championed local content and digital changes in the financial sector.
A former board member of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), he is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and a member of the Presidential Initiative for developing the software industry in Nigeria. Within 23 years, he grew PFS into a multi-million dollar company from a startup fund of N8, 250. His tenacity has helped to imbue faith in the country’s budding fintech sub-sector.
Before PFS, Okeremi had a successful professional career starting at Inlaks Computers, from where he moved to Industrial Bank Limited (Merchant Bankers) as a programmer/analyst. He rose to become Chief Information Officer of the bank and then left for Ventura Savings and Loans Limited as the Head of Systems and Logistics department.
Okeremi has also previously served as Chairman Legal and Legislative Committee of ISPON.