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NCS Urges NITDA Not To Implement Proposed Registration, Licensing of all IT Contractors

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The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has frowned at the proposed registration and licensing of all information technology (IT) contractors in the country by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

In a statement released on Tuesday and made available to TechEconomy.ng, the umbrella body of Computer professionals in Nigeria, said that the proposed registration and licensing, aside not falling under the mandate of NITDA, was capable of causing confusion in the industry.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in a statement issued on Monday said that it has put measures in place to register and license all Information Technology (IT) Contractors and Service Providers for the purposes of procurements, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and other forms of engagement with Government establishments and Private Sector.

According to the statement signed by Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), “The Agency is dismayed at the raising number 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.

“In order to curtail this and in line with the Agency’s mandate and the recent Presidential Executive Order 005 for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology, as mandated by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the registration and licensing of IT Contractors and Service providers has become expedient.

But in a swift reaction, President, Nigeria Computer Society, Professor Adesola Aderounmu, said “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 Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) Act 49 of 1993 is saddled with the mandate to register, license, supervise and control the profession as stated in CPN Act section 1 (2).

“The said statement is capable of confusing the general public to create an uncoordinated approach to policy issues and both Acts of Parliament as stated earlier. NCS is 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.

“NCS commends the approach and wisdom of the Presidential Executive Order 005 of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, which emphasizes professionalism.

“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”.