By Martin Ekpeke
The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has called to order the policy statement credited to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) that it will henceforth to register and license all IT contractors in Nigeria.
The advocacy group made up of all IT practitioners in Nigeria, said registration and licensing of IT contractors is not part of NITDA’s mandate, but that of the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) Act 49 of 1993, which is saddled with the mandate to register, license, supervise and control the profession as stated in CPN Act section 1 (2).
In a statement signed by its President, Prof. G.A. Aderounmu, NCS said NITDA’s mandate is to plan, promote and develop regulatory framework and guidelines as stated in NITDA Act 2007, section 6a.
NCS is also of the belief that NITDA’s mandate is to ensure seamless cooperation and interaction towards the use of IT as a development tool for the country.
The statement said, though it commends the approach and wisdom of the Presidential Executive Order 005 of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, which emphasizes professionalism, the NITDA’s policy statement is capable of confusing the general public to create an uncoordinated approach to policy issues and both Acts of Parliament as stated earlier.
Parts of the statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a policy statement released by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Director General, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami on the 12th February, 2018 which on general principle is to register and license all IT contractors in Nigeria. Our position is that this is not part of NITDA’s mandate because as the name suggests this agency is to plan, promote and develop regulatory framework and guidelines as stated in NITDA Act 2007, section 6a.
“The Public Procurement Act 2007 with particular reference to section 19 if properly implemented will promote best practices professionally. On a related note CPN Act section 22, states that failure to engage professional practitioners is an offence in Nigeria punishable under the Act.
“We therefore advise NITDA in our advocacy capacity not to embark on registering and licensing of IT Contractors and service providers (Registered IT professionals) activities and instead concentrate on developmental issues which we believe can be jointly achieved collaboratively. CPN is the only agency with the mandate to register and license IT professionals and contractors in Nigeria.”
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has two days ago issued a statement, saying it has begun the registration and licensing of IT contractors to curb the increasing menace of failing IT projects in the country.
NITDA noted in the statement that its investigations revealed that over 90% of IT projects in MDAs and other government establishments failed and more than 95% of their security is compromised.
It said the process aims at ensuring the emergence of robust indigenous IT Service Providers and Contractors, guaranteeing the delivery of sustainable IT projects as well as engendering professionalism in the IT service industry. The process will also ensure that IT projects in MDAs will only be executed by indigenous companies where in-country capacity exists.