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JUST IN: Registration, Licensing of IT Contractors is CPN’s Mandate- NCS Insists

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Furtherance to the earlier statement of the Nigeria Computer Society, the Society has highlighted that the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) establishing Act 49 of June 1993 bequeaths it with the mandate to register and licence IT contractors.

In a statement made available to TechEconomy.ng, President, Nigeria Computer Society, Professor Adesola Aderounmu, maintained that under CPN Act section 2(2), it has the right to keep records of (membership registration) of IT practitioners in the country.

The NCS’ explanation came as a result of statement by Nation Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) insisting on continuing the registration and licensing of IT contractors and service providers in the country.

NITDA says even though the Computer Professionals (Registration Council) of Nigeria as a Council is mandated to have control and supervision of the (Computing) profession as provided by Section 1(2) of the Computer Professionals (Registration council of Nigeria) Act, however, the current moves to register and license contractors and service providers, is to tackle the menace of quackery and failure of IT projects in government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The Director General/CEO of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, had on Monday expressed the Agency’s dismayed at the raising cases of failing IT projects within Federal MDAs and other government establishments.

“NITDA’s investigations revealed that over 90% of IT projects in MDAs and other government establishments failed and more than 95% of their security is compromised”, Dr. Pantami said, which primarily informed the decision to embark on the registration and licensing of IT Contractors and Service Providers.

This didn’t go down well with the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS). The Society released a statement further statement on Thursday evening maintaining that NITDA was overstepping its regulatory oversight.

According to the section quoted by the NCS President, “Persons admitted to the membership of the profession shall be registered as members of the profession in various categories including the corporate member category.

“CPN Act section 8(1): CPN has the mandate to keep, publish, print the list of all registered professional and is available for inspection for members of the public at all reasonable time. This has been in operation since 1998”.

On licensing, the Society insisted that CPN Act section 18(2b), prescribes the form of licence to be issued annually.

“The call for another registration and licensing of IT contractors by NITDA is tantamount to double registration which is contrary to the Federal Government’s policy on ease of doing business. Furthermore it may lead to the registration of quacks and non professionals”, Prof. maintained.

He further said that failed and substandard public IT projects cited by NITDA should have been reported to CPN for necessary action.

“IT contracts should only be awarded to CPN registered members; the list is available online and in accordance with Public Procurement Act 2007.

“Registering and licensing IT contractors is not within the mandate of NITDA which is to create framework, guidelines and policy to develop IT. When properly implemented, it will solve the problem of unemployment in Nigeria which is the focus of the present administration”, he said.