ISPON accuses federal government of killing IDEA Hubs

The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has accused the federal government of killing innovations that would ordinarily take Nigeria out of the present recession.

Specifically, the umbrella body of all software practitioners in Nigeria said government actions and inactions has led to the death of IDEA Hubs established in the country, which were designed to incubate technology startups in the area of software apps development.

“The present government has by their action and inaction killed the several initiatives put forward by IT practitioners that needed government support and funding. For instance, the federal government should be blamed for the collapse of IDEA Hubs established in the country,” ISPON said during its 2017 President’s Dinner held in Lagos recently.

According to the Co-chairman of the 2017 ISPON President’s Dinner, Dr. Dotun Sulaimon, the federal government, through the former Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, had established two IDEA Hubs in Lagos and Calabar, but explained that the centres collapsed after Johnson left office as minister in 2015.

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He disclosed that the Calabar centre packed up shortly after  Johnson left office, while the Lagos centre located in Yaba, eventually collapsed last week, as a result of the inability of the centres to pay salaries of its staff as well as vendors like MainOne that had been providing internet connectivity at the centres since they were established.

Solomon said this worrying, considering the state of the country’s economy. He believes that government ought to be proactive in supporting technology initiatives that would boost skills development in the country.

The IDEA Hubs were established with the intention to train software developers among the youths who will in turn attract seed investors that may be willing to invest in some of the apps considered commercially viable. But a few months into the establishment of the centres, the federal government withdrew its financial support, leaving the place to fend for itself, leading to its eventual collapse.