REMITA EXPERIENCE: Software Nigeria in 2050 – Chris Uwaje

REMITA EXPERIENCE: Software Nigeria in 2050 – Chris Uwaje






Welcome to 2022 – a year configured in CODES. Nay, I mean, welcome to Remita in year 2050 – going forward. Putting the topic into perspective, let us for a moment imagine the Nigerian Financial System at the governmental level without Remita – an indigenous Software Solution whose debut has, without any ambiguity, recued the Nigeria financial ecosystem from bankruptcy. Also, it has saved and empowered millions of our population from derailing into abject poverty to a living hope for many reasons. Therefore, this encounter invites the nation to reimagine her digital strategy for sustainable national development. Algorithm-centric Software-of-Things (SoT) has become the epicenter of global digital economy and transformation development Olympiad.



2022 promises to redefine the trajectory of global digital transformation. And nations would be forced to review and redefine their technology and innovation core-competences and make the choice of either to remain a perpetual consumer of digital products and solutions. Or seize the opportunity to rethink and accelerate their mission for the creation of wealth with a strategic focus on Software innovation and creativity. The digital battlefield in the mastery of Software looms along the direction of Intellectual Property (IP) in Fintech, Biotech, Cybersecurity, eGovernment, eCommerce, Online-education – apart from the AI e-Space/Wars.



REMITA EXPERIENCE: Software Nigeria in 2050 - Chris Uwaje


But first, before we take a deep look at Remita Software Solutions, it is instructive to explore the great mind behind Remita.  



John Tani Obaro – a full-fledged Nigerian citizen who qualifies as a deep-thinking enigma out of Africa. Tani as I fondly call him is an erudite personality with three very distinguished features: Intellectually calm and resilient; eloquently bold and to the point; and finally, extremely trustworthy beyond all reasonable doubts. These features plus his disarming smile stand him out of the many players in the software ecosystem. Tani was my very reliable 1st Vice-President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) when I was the President between 2009-2014. He did not only serve but performed beyond the call of duty.




John is the MD/CEO of Systemspecs Ltd., a Nigerian Software company he founded in 1992. Systemspecs are the developers of HumanManager a multi-award-winning Payroll and Human Resource package and Remita, a modular e-Payments, e-Collections, e-Payroll, and e-Schedules solution on a single multibank platform. Remita, the flagship product of the company, is a very powerful platform that presents individuals and organizations with a very simple and intuitive user interface for the processing of otherwise complex and intricate multi party payment flows. The Remita payment gateway adopted by the Federal Government for its Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy but is already living up to McKinsey’s projections. In its first year of operation, Remita made a gigantic impact on public finance in Nigeria by helping the government recover N4.3 trillion of its cash assets which were unused in Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).




All said, in absolute terms, Nigeria still has a large deficit of Software developers’ talent, in comparison to her huge population size of 210 million.



According to TUNGA (Ernesto Spruyt), the absolute number of developers per African country are as follows: There are an estimated 690,000 professional software programmers in Africa. More than half of these are from South Africa, Egypt, and also Nigeria.



Though the available numbers for Nigeria are contestable due to data inconsistency, the top-17 software development countries in Africa consists of: 1.South Africa – 133,195; 2.Egypt – 125,270; 3.Nigeria – 114,536, 4.Kenya – 58,866; 5.Morocco – 49,818; 6.Tunisia – 45,247; 7.Ghana – 20,551; 8.Algeria – 20,530; 9.Uganda – 13,113; 10.Ethiopia – 8,316; 11.Senegal – 8,113; 12.Tanzania – 8,065; 13.Cameroon – 7,748; 14.Mauritius – 6,879; 15.Zimbabwe – 6,588; 16.Rwanda – 6,412;  and 17.Ivory Coast – 5,165.




Though, Nigeria has a promising innovation hub ecosystem. She has produced Unicom Software Platforms and solutions with global reach, but the IP is not country resident. This amongst others is why a rethink is urgently required to remap the trajectory of her challenging future – looking at 2050 when her population hovers above 410 million – with creative youth as majority of the pack.




Regrettably, the Innovation Index report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicates that no African Country made the top 50 rank. Nigeria was almost relatively missing and boxed to the 117th position out of 150! The ranking factors include: Institutions, Human Capital & Research, Infrastructure, Market Sophistication, Business Sophistication, Knowledge & Technology Outputs and Creative Outputs. The good news is that the nation can leverage her knowledge institution and youth population advantage to produce a minimum of 1 million Software skills at multiple levels of engagement in 2022.




REMITA EXPERIENCE: Software Nigeria in 2050 - Chris Uwaje




Today, Remita is in use by many individuals, public and private sector organisations that process over 500-billion-naira worth of transactions monthly.



Adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the payment as well as collections of funds on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria; and also used by all 22 commercial banks; and likewise over 400 micro finance banks, Remita has significantly assisted to revolutionize the e-payment industry in Nigeria. Remita has been severally voted as the Nigerian Software of the Year at various times by several rating as well as awarding bodies; while John was personally recognized in 2014 as Nigeria’s IT Personality of the year 2013 by his Professional Colleagues in the Nigerian Computer Society, an organization of all IT Professionals in Nigeria.




It is encouraging to note that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy is gaining traction. However, it is now instructive to establish a Mega Software Platform by ensuring that Remita becomes a too-big-to-fail corporate entity. Building a Software mega-system by empowering the likes of Remita with a capacity workforce of 10,000 smart developers under one roof to focus on the enterprise demand level will secure a sustainable strategy for the creation of wealth for Nigeria. This calls for a visionary national software policy and strategic Framework to deliver the mission. Adopting the Prof. Chukwuma Soludo formula of merging-partnership of 82 Commercial Banks into 25, may be a panacea for the triumph of Software Nigeria to produce 50-worldclass Software Unicoms out of the current Nigeria Software Industry. Just thinking?


About The Author

Kingsley Alaribe is a Digital Marketer with 1stNews, and writes the weekly column, Strangers and Lovers. He is also a Data Scientist. Email: [email protected]

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