The Chairman of the house of representatives committee on ICT, honourable Mohammed Ogochi Onawo has commended Nigerian FinTech firm, SystemSpecs for its remarkable contributions to technological development in the country. He said the company has given Nigerians insight into how ICT can improve lives in the country.
This is part of his comments when he visited the head office of SystemSpecs, the owners of Remita with his delegation on August 27, 2018. In attendance were senior executives of SystemSpecs including the Managing Director, John Obaro; Executive Director, Deremi Atanda; and Chief Technology Officer, Dr Emmanuel Eze.
Honourable Onawo commended expressed his appreciation to the Managing Director, John Obaro for what he and his team have achieved for Nigeria.
“I am thanking SystemSpecs for what they have done, for their contributions, not just in Nigeria but also beyond the country.”
Executive Director, Deremi Atanda highlighted some of the landmark products released by SystemSpecs and some of the milestones it has recorded in the past. These include:
- The Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) deal with the Federal Government in 2006, which was able to enrol over 250,000 government employees by 2008
- The Pension Scheme Solution to employers’ remittance challenges introduced during the regime of former president Olusegun Obasanjo
- The Human Manager 4.0, an upgraded efficient Human Resources solution released in 2002.
- The Treasury Single Account payment collection software, known as Remita, which is the one-stop collection mechanism for all government MDAs
Atanda emphasized that SystemSpecs has been busy over the years churning out innovative solutions for Nigerians, and there are results to show for it.
“For instance, the Human Manager 4.0 software has a special functionality called Self-Service, which is a pioneering achievement but there was no platform to project it as a landmark achievement coming from Nigeria.”
He therefore stressed on the need to promote and project indigenous achievements and even export them.
The Managing Director, John Obaro supported Atanda’s comments, saying:
“One of our weaknesses is that we focus so much on the job, believing that the job will speak for itself, and sometimes it speaks for itself, as is the case with some states that are using our software.”
There are quite a lot of things that SystemSpecs has pioneered in the country that the company has not really made noise about.
Giving the IPPIS as an example. After enrolling over 400,000 government employees on the IPPIS project, SystemSpecs expected that by now the project would have rolled out completely to cover the entire projected 1.2 Million Federal Government employees.
Obaro also hinted at some of the company’s recent projects, especially Remita for SMEs.
“We are now extending Remita to assist the Small and Medium Scale enterprises (SMEs) in their payroll, payments, and services to their customers,” Obaro said.
The SystemSpecs delegation mentioned four areas that require government attention:
- Recognition of the role of technology in National development
- Recognition of the role of indigenous players in taking Nigeria to the next level
- Investing in indigenous players to encourage their growth, thereby increasing technological development
- Active promotion and projection of success stories
Earlier, the honourable chairman had visited the office of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body for practitioners of ICT in the country, which SystemSpecs is a corporate member. They were received by members of the National Executive Council of the NCS led by the Secretary General, who spoke about what the NCS is all about, its activities and achievements over the years. He emphasized that there has been a disconnect between governance and the ICT industry in Nigeria and that there is need for proper synergy between the political and ICT sectors. He encouraged the honourable chairman to help promulgate laws that will fast track the development of ICT in the country.
Honourable Mohammed Onawo expressed regret that he was just visiting the professional body for the first time since assuming leadership of the House Committee on ICT. He however, announced that he wants a collaboration between the legislature and the industry so that laws that will advance technological development will be easily promulgated.
“Although I am not an expert, I have watched with keen interest, what ICT has done to better the lives of people. I have watched how ICT creates jobs. To make this possible there has to be a partnership between the legislature and the NCS. The NCS needs the law; something that helps ICT professionals operate smoothly. We need to appreciate this and make sure that what the lawmakers are doing represents the interests of the NCS.”
A representative from SystemSpecs, Uche Obiokuma said that the company is trying to build a bridge between the legislature and ICT professionals in the country, announcing a conference coming up in October 2018 as an opportunity for house committee members to meet members of the NCS and fashion out framework for policies.