By: Yinka Okeowo
The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) recently rolled out the drums to appreciate the founding fathers and its achievements in the last forty-years.
The Body was formed in 1978 based on the vision and aspirations of the initial members and was initially called Computer Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The name was soon changed to COAN. COAN was established as the umbrella body of all IT professionals in Nigeria.
It was later changed to Nigeria Computer Society with the ammonisation of 2005 involving ISPON, COAN, ITAN and ISPAN.
It has been growing and waxing stronger day by day and year by year with a lot of landmark and memorable achievements.
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, speaking at the Nigeria Computer Society’s 40th anniversary and National Information Technology Merit Awards (NITMA 2018) held in Lagos.
, thanked NCS for providing leadership among the organisations that constitute the Nigerian IT ecosystem.
Shittu stressed that for the nation to realize its collective objective in global competitive economy ICT is inevitable.
He reiterated the commitment of the Ministry to the reforms in the system.
“Within the next few months we will be witnessing the establishment of an ICT Development Bank,” he said, adding that the Bank will be instrumental to further development of the IT industry in Nigeria.
When he mounted the podium, the President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof Adesola Aderounmu, reeled out the outstanding contributions of the Society to the growth of IT/ICT industry in Nigeria.
He said that several policies and laws (ACTs) provided by the Federal Government for the development and growth of ICT in Nigeria were made possible by the undaunted advocacy effort of Nigeria Computer Society.
“These include: Computer Professional Registration Council (CPN) Act 49 of 1993; the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) is the apex regulatory body for IT practice in Nigeria.
“It was established by Act 49 of 1993, promulgated on June 10 and gazetted on August 9, of that year to regulate, supervise and control the practice of the profession. This is a landmark achievement of founders of Nigeria Computer Society and the National Information Technology Policy 2002.
“Others are Tele-Communications Act 2003; National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act 2007; Nigeria Computer Society played a crucial role in the formation of NITDU (National IT Development Unit), the fore-runner of NITDA and National Software Policy 2011”.
Prof. Aderounmu also mentioned the National Information and Communications Policy 2012 (Harmonized); the Ministry of Communication Technology Ministry created by the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2011 as part of gains NCS advocacies.
“NIRA. NCS’s proposal that a neutral private sector-led organization be set up to take control of the administration of .ng was adopted. The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) with Board of Trustees as well as Executive members elected from different stakeholder organisations was then established to administer .ng to the satisfaction of all interested parties”.
He said that over the past 40 years, NCS has been the primary agent behind the amazing and rapid increase in IT deployment in Nigeria.
“With regard to achieving sustainable development through IT, NCS has been the advocacy champion behind local content development, Cashless and Fintech, IT in Government, IT for National Security, use of IT for productivity in all spheres of life, IT Education and so many other critical that are changing Nigerian society dramatically.
According to him, “As the umbrella body of all IT professionals, Interest Groups and Stakeholders in Nigeria, the Nigeria Computer Society has achieved so much for Nigeria and IT and IT enabled sectors during the past 40 years.”
He added that these advancements and changes can be witnessed in all sectors of the Nigerian economy and society today.
The Body also used the 40th anniversary to celebrate and reward the first forty members of NCS from the first registered member (MRN 00001) to the fortieth registered member (MRN 00040).
Also Special Recognition Awards was created to reward deserving recipients who have contributed remarkably in diverse capacities to the progress of the umbrella body and IT development in the country over the past 40 years.
The IT Personality Year Award, also known as the NCS President’s Award, which is dedicated to individuals that have excelled in the IT sector during the year was bestowed on Mr. Peter Arogundade, MD of Sidmach Technologies.
Also, the Chairman, Organising and Planning Committee, of 2018 NITMA, Femi Williams, said that the annual event is aimed towards celebrating excellence, outstanding achievements and significant contributions in the computer science and information technology industry in the country.
He noted that this year’s celebration coinciding with the body’s 40th anniversary will accord them the opportunity to recognize and award their founding fathers and leaders, who at various times have made significant efforts in keeping the flag of the society flying.
Williams added that they will use the anniversary to recognize those who are contributing to the development of information technology in the country as well as encourage the present and future players in this fast changing profession.
He further stressed that the nominees and awardees emerged through a competitive, fair and well established criteria.
He stated that the recognition of these outstanding professional is a call for them to do even more after this celebration and recognition.