The Computer Professionals (Registration Council) of Nigeria (CPN) has published list containing about 245 (two hundred and forty-five) companies (aside individuals) that may be blacklisted from sourcing contracts related to information technology from the Federal and State Governments, TechEconomy.ng can report.
Our Correspondent sighted the publication at the recent CPN Assembly held at Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja.
Before now, TechEconomy.ng had reported CPN’s lamentation over the activities of unregistered IT practitioners in Nigeria, noting that information technology is a very critical profession, which does not give room for unwholesome and unregulated practices.
According to the Registrar and Secretary to the CPN Council, Mr. Allwell Achumba, “As a country, we need to create wealth and sustain the prosperity through digital infrastructure by giving more people the knowledge and skills to compete, collaborate and connect so as to move the country forward.”
Achumba added that digital knowledge and skills have become the global currency of the 21st century economies. Thus, Information Technology has become the fulcrum of any thriving economy, which must not be ignored by players in such economy.
Then, the Computer Professionals (Registration Council) of Nigeria (CPN) after inducting 318 (three hundred and eighteen) new members as part of programmes for this year’s Information Technology (IT) Assembly, went ahead to publish names of individuals and corporate organisations whose operating licenses have either expired or not duly approved.
CPN was established by Act No 49 of 1993. The Act was passed into law on 10th of June and gazetted on the 9th of August that year. It is a regulatory body charged with the regulation, control and supervision of the computing profession and practice in Nigeria in line with Section 1 (2) of the Act.
Presently, CPN is under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education and not Federal Ministry of Communications (created in 2011 as Ministry of Communication Technology) which oversees IT/ICT related matters in the country.
When contacted to speak on the matter, the Chairman, Registration, Regulations and Control at CPN, Mr. Aderogba Adeoye, said, “After the CPN Assembly, it has not come to my notice if any of the listed companies has gone ahead to regularise their practice by either renewing their operating licence or obtaining a license as required by the law.
“And CPN cannot take any action except the publication which is meant to alert members of the public about these entities that have not followed due process.
“They are not qualified by law to take up either government or private contract.
Asked about the essence of the publication if CPN cannot take any further actions than this, the Chairman, Registration, Regulations and Control at CPN, Mr. Adeoye said, “The publication alone is a punishment, because we have submitted the same to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the (Federal) Government. They should go and rectify their licensing with CPN.
Asked if the companies where notified about the latest publication, he responded thus, “They came and register with CPN. CPN did not ‘manufacture’ the list. They are entitled to that list too so they can take the appropriate action. A new list will be printed next year when CPN Assembly shall be called.
“In other words, they are members of CPN but have not rectified their licensing either by renewal or completing the registration process. Any other company the name is not found there is now another problem. Those are the corporates or individuals that could claim ignorance of the license. But at the appropriate time like when they apply for government contract they will be sent to CPN.
“According to Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), when IT contracts are to be awarded they would contact CPN and the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) to confirm if an individual or organisation is registered with the professional body.
“In a case neither CPN nor NCS was involved during the contracting awarding process, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would always find out. Members of the public must have read from NITDA in the recent times that all government contracts must be rectified through their office. The essence of all this is to curb corruption and disallow quacks from executing government contracts.
“What happens most times is that those un-regularised practitioners would secure contracts and abandon it half-way; after they have collected billions of Naira from the government. Others do perform shoddy jobs and the stories of failed IT contracts in government keep coming out every day. These must stop.
TechEconomy.ng further learnt that CPN has categorised the licensing fees and processes to cover every strata of companies.
Mr. Adeoye confirmed this too, stressing that the categorisation was put in place to ensure no company is left sweating over the licensing fees. “A startup cannot afford the same amount with companies like Chams Plc or CWG. It is simply: not every construction company can handle the enormous work of reconstructing Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Same thing applies here in IT. There are levels of categorization to reflect the competencies of operations.
“You know there must be checks and balances to ensure you keep to standards – like, do you still have the staff strength to perform certain contracts? Do they attend professional trainings, retraining, conferences and retreats?
An operating license from CPN, TechEconomy.ng learnt, lasts for three years before renewal.
TechEconomy.ng recalls that NITDA had insisted that to develop the ICT sector through effective regulation, no IT Project is allowed to be executed in the country without clearance from the Agency.
To match words with actions, the management of NITDA informed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Government owned companies, other government establishments and the general public that, its efforts at streamlining and fast-tracking the process of the IT Projects Clearing House mandate, has fully been automated.
“The automation of the process enhances transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in the process of obtaining clearance. Henceforth, MDAs, Government owned companies and other Federal Public Institutions are expected to submit their projects via the IT Projects Clearance portal,” the DG, Dr. Isa Pantami said recently.