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Concerns as ‘Oronsaye Report’ classifies CPN as IT Professionals’ Association

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CPN

The Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies report popularly referred to as “Oronsaye Report” and the subsequent Whitepaper, wrongly labeled the Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria) [CPN], as an Information Technology (IT Professionals’) Association, TechEconomy.ng, can report.   

Upon inauguration on Aug. 18, 2011, the Committee Chaired by the former Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, was given eight weeks to submit its report.

The Committee in an 800-page report therein recommended the reduction of statutory agencies of government from 263 to 161, stressing that the average cost of governance in Nigeria is believed to rank among the highest in the world.

“There are 541 government parastatals, commissions and agencies (statutory and non-statutory) in the country,’ said, Mr. Oronsaye, in a PremiumTimes report. “Going by the recommendations of the Committee, the figure of statutory agencies is being proposed for reduction to 161 from the current figure of 263.

“The Committee believes that if the cost of governance must be brought down, then both the legislature and judiciary must make spirited efforts at reducing their running costs as well as restructuring and rationalising the agencies under them since the three arms make up the government.’’

However, TechEconomy.ng investigations indicate that the Office of the Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, have received complaints on how the Oronsaye’s Committee erroneously labeled the CPN as an IT Association as against its Regulatory provisions in the establishing Act of 1993.

SGF, Boss Mustapha

SGF, Boss Mustapha

By that appendage and subsequent recommendation that the Federal Government should withhold subventions from CPN, the IT industry will be left with no Council-statutorily mandated to regulate activities of practitioners.

A Source at CPN told TechEconomy.ng that the Council has sent letters to the SGF; the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami and Minister of State for Education counterpart, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, seeking for a review of the Oronsaye’s recommendations as it affects CPN.

Speaking on the matter, the President and Chairman-In-Council of CPN, Professor Charles Uwadia, confirmed that steps are been taken to ensure Federal Government understands the true posture of CPN in the eyes of the establishing Act.

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.

In other words, it is a corporate entity that is charged with the regulation, control and supervision of the computing profession and practice in Nigeria in line with Section 1 (2) of the Act.

The Council hereinafter referred to as CPN is under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education.

To start with, about two years ago, the Federal Government granted approval for the implementation of a ‘Whitepaper on Scheme of Service for Computer Professional Cadre in the Public Service’ structured on SGL 08 – 17 for graduates”.

The Whitepaper was accepted thirteen years after recommendations to that effect were made by the National Council on Establishments and a testament to Government’s understanding that computer professionals are now national assets because they are capable of developing solutions that will save us from this rainy day.

Prof. Uwadia’s comment:

“The first thing to state is that the Oronsaye Report actually suggested; and this was accepted by the Whitepaper, that CPN should not be funded by the Government. It didn’t state that CPN should be proscribed or should not be allowed to function.

Buhari

President Buhari and CPN President, Prof. Charles Uwadia

“In other words, the Report and the Whitepaper’s position is that CPN should no longer receive subvention from the Federal Government. I just wanted to clarify on that.

“Having said that, if you go through the entire report carefully, you will find out that apart from the CPN, there are other ‘councils’ that were set in similar position. I will give example: The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) is equivalent to CPN; the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN); the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCN) and others. So, I think there was a mix-up somewhere. We can’t really explain how it happened. So, the Oronsaye’s Report saw CPN as an ‘Association’ not as a ‘Registration Council’. Similar thing occurred in the case of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).

“Those two bodies were mistaken as ‘Associations’. Therefore, the report recommends: ‘An association should not draw subvention from the Government’. But, for the registration councils like the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), the MDCN; they still recommended that Government should continue to give to fund them. So, that is our line of complaint.

“We have reached out to government to know that indeed the Oronsaye’s Panel made a mistake; it was an error to categorize CPN as a Professional Association. CPN is a Regulatory Council”.

Nodding in agreement, the Registrar, the Registrar, Computer Professional (Registration Council of Nigeria), Mr. Allwell Achumba said that the Council should receive the deserved attention and recognition from the public and private sectors of the economy as well as internationally.

Allwell Achumba

Allwell Achumba

According to him, CPN is more relevant now the Federal Government is diversifying to digital economy.

“We need to intensify our efforts at developing the IT profession in Nigeria.

“We should not pay lip service to our efforts at building a solid and highly respected IT profession in Nigeria. It is for the good of the profession, the nation as well as the professionals and practitioners who will be reaping the dividends of their sacrifice.

“Therefore, CPN, no doubt, deserves to be accorded the deserved ‘Regulatory’ rights and given adequate support to rid the profession of quacks. The country cannot afford to have failed IT projects anymore; the revenues are hard to come-by these days. So, whatever is budget and appropriated for IT project must be handled by qualified and competent companies and individuals that have been regularized”, Achumba added.

Industry watchers have previously called for strengthening of CPN to perform its statutory functions more effectively.

In a recent article, the President of the Nigeria Computer Society, Professor Adesina Sodiya, said it is not out of place to suggest for a strengthening of CPN by the National Assembly to carry-out the peculiar responsibilities to regulate, control and supervise the computing profession and practice in Nigeria in line with Section 1 (2) of the Act.

“The NASS should urgently look into this if we are really serious about tapping into the Fourth Industrial Revolution; whether CPN is retained under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education or aligned to operate under NITDA.

Nigeria Computer Society

Prof. Sodiya –

“Obviously, agencies of government are created to address specific issues at a time; this is the time we need CPN more! CPN is the custodian of Computer code of practice in Nigeria just as British Computer Society is to the United Kingdom”, he said.

As members of CPN gather (virtually) for the 14th IT Assembly, it is expected that the Federal Government will speed up action to review and edit the Oronsaye’s report which wrongly striped CPN of its Statutory rights.

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PIN, 13 other rights advocates condemn persistent arrests of journalists, threats on media freedoms in Zimbabwe

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PIN

BY: Chisom ADA

Paradigm Initiatives “PIN” and thirteen other global rights advocates have expressed great concern over the growing trend on threats on media freedoms and arrests of journalists and activists in Zimbabwe in recent months.

The statement was signed by Liberia Information Technology Student Union; Association des Utilisateurs des TIC – ASUTIC (Senegal)  Centre for Legal Support in Gambia; Equip Africa Integrated Development Initiative; AfroLeadership; Villes et Communes Magazine; Paradigm Initiative; Gambia Cyber Security Alliance; Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria; Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ); Centre for Impact Advocacy (CiA); Afrotribune; Association for Progressive Communications and The Committee to Protect Journalists.

The Coalition of organisations and institutions defending and working to advance human rights in the digital age, said these attacks bear no regard to Zimbabwe’s obligations to:

“Article 19(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to protect the right to freedom of expression including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice or through any media whatsoever;

“Sections 61 and 62 of the Zimbabwean Constitution which guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of the media;

“Sections 57, 58, and 59 of the Zimbabwean Constitution which ensure the rights to privacy, freedom of assembly and association and freedom to demonstrate and petition;

The Coalition reminded the Zimbabwean Government of its obligations to the following regional instruments on freedom of expression; African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Windhoek Declaration, African Platform on Access to Information and the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression.

The Coalition noted in the last few days, the increase in random arrests, detentions and questioning of journalists and activists in the course of executing their duties.

“Specifically, in a space of seven days, we noted the arrest and detention of Hopewell Chin’ono – a respected journalist on July 20th, Jacob Ngarivhume- an opposition activist on July 20th and Blessed Mhlanga- a senior journalist on July 25. We are deeply concerned by the recent raid of the Journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu’s home and arbitrary arrest of his sister in connection with his whereabouts on July 30th 2020 ahead of a planned protest on the 31st of July 2020. These sustained attacks on journalists are a disregard for media freedoms.

“We are cognizant of  the Press Briefing on Zimbabwe by the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liz Throssell who expressed the UN concern over the arrests on 24 July 2020 condemning the suggestive acts that authorities in Zimbabwe are  using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to clamp down on freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

“We take note of the 44th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/44/L.18/Rev.1  which reaffirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular, the right to freedom of opinion and expression;

“We, therefore, echo the  laid out guidelines laid out inof Principle 20(1) and (2) of the Declaration Of Principles On Freedom Of Expression And Access To Information In Africa (the Declaration) adopted by the African Commission On Human And Peoples’ Rights at its 65th Ordinary Session held From 21 October to 10 November 2019 In Banjul, Gambia that the government of Zimbabwe must guarantee the safety of journalists and other media practitioners and take measures to prevent attacks on journalists and other media practitioners, including murder, extra-judicial killing, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, kidnapping, intimidation, threats and unlawful surveillance undertaken by State and non-State actors.

“We also wish to highlight 24 other attacks on media practitioners as documented by the MISA Zimbabwe between March 30th and July 21st  2020 when Zimbabwe went on lockdown. Since then, 3 other journalists were reportedly harassed by the State security agents in Zimbabwe as at 26 July 2020. Journalists including Frank Chikowore and Samuel Takawira are facing prosecution and charged with violating social distancing regulations after attempting to interview three opposition youth leaders who had been abducted and assaulted by alleged security force agents.

“We urge the Government of Zimbabwe to cease this obvious clampdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly especially leading up to the planned July 31, 2020 protest action. We refer to the Ministerial statement dated July 25, 2020, issued by Minister of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting Services- Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, that explicitly states that Hopewell Chin’ono was not arrested for exposing corruption but rather for “using his social media accounts to incite Zimbabweans to violently overthrow the Government”. We wish to remind the Zimbabwean authorities of the aforementioned rights of citizens to assemble and protest peacefully; and the duty of law enforcement officers to provide the necessary protection during such times.

“We call for the Government of Zimbabwe to withdraw all malicious prosecutions against media practitioners and to release  Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume, and to drop all charges against Frank Chiktowore and Samuel Takawira.

“Further, we call upon the Government of Zimbabwe, especially during this crucial time of the COVID-19 pandemic- a matter of life and death, to respect and guarantee media freedoms by ceasing the unfair and unjustified intimidation of journalists to silence dissent. In addition, to avoid using the cover of ‘violating lockdown restrictions’ to mount violent attacks on media practitioners, at a time when citizens depend on them for news and information”, the statement reads.

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COVID-19: Google Doodle promotes wearing of mask

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Google Doodle
Google wear a mask Doodle

BY: Chisom ADA

Google is running a COVID-19 mask Doodle on 4 and 5 August to reinforce the messaging that wearing masks can save lives, in the midst of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the globe.

Google wear a mask Doodle

Google wear a mask Doodle

The Doodle went live across 60 countries including Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya at 3pm on Tuesday, 4 August.

The Doodle clicks through to a COVID prevention Search Results page.

Google is using the Doodle to promote protection of one’s self and others around them by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions.

Google also offered the follow advice provided by local health authority like the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

To prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.
  • Calling in advance allows your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This protects you, and prevents the spread of viruses and other infections.
COVID-19

COVID-19 statistics Nigeria, global

Masks

Google added that masks can help prevent the spread of the virus from the person wearing the mask to others.

“Masks alone do not protect against COVID-19, and should be combined with physical distancing and hand hygiene. Follow the advice provided by your local health authority”, the global tech giant said.

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Nanosatellite and Microsatellite market worth $4.8 billion by 2025

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Nanosatellite

The Nanosatellite and Microsatellite market is expected to grow from USD 1.8 billion in 2020 to USD 4.8 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.3% during the forecast period.

The satellites are used for several applications, such as communication, earth observation & remote sensing, scientific research, biological experiments, academic training, reconnaissance, and various other applications by the defense, intelligence, civil, commercial, and/or government users.

Continuous advancements in the miniaturization of technologies, such as electronics, low-mission costs, and the increasing use of satellite constellations, are major drivers of the market, says MarketsandMarkets in the report.

Some of the prominent key players are:

  • GomSpace (Denmark)
  • Lockheed Martin (US)
  • L3Harris (US)
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation (US)
  • AAC Clyde Space (Scotland)
  • Planet Labs (US)
  • Tyvak (US)
  • NanoAvionics (US)
  • Innovative Solutions In Space (Netherlands)

Earth observation and remote sensing to account for the largest market size during the forecast period

Nanosatellites and microsatellites have brought novel opportunities for earth observation and remote sensing using inexpensive small satellites to capture images of the earth and gather specific data.

Nanosatellites and microsatellites are expected to play a major role in remote sensing missions due to their enhanced computational and communication capabilities, along with competencies in making decisions about the time and data to be shared.

Successful programs to develop and examine advanced hyperspectral imaging systems compatible with nanosatellite and microsatellite missions enable small satellites to generate high-quality complex images.

The commercial vertical to account for the largest market size during the forecast period

The geospatial technology using earth-imaging small satellites for agriculture, education, intelligence navigation, mapping, and other uses, has driven the commercial sector in the past decade.

Nanosatellites or microsatellites help commercial companies gather global real-time data and distribute the same at lower prices to customers across a wide geographic area.

Nanosatellites and microsatellites are used for commercial purposes, such as communication, in the form of voice, data, and videos, internet communication, and video chat. Between 2013 and 2017, almost half the nanosatellites were launched for military or civil missions and the remaining half for business purposes.

North America to account for the highest market share during the forecast period

North America accounts for the highest market share in the nanosatellite and microsatellite market.

The country leads in the adoption of nanosatellites and microsatellites and offers great opportunities for the overall growth of the nanosatellite and microsatellite market. North America has always been an early adopter of new technology or software, and the North American market grows at a faster rate initially as compared to any other region.

The demand for nanosatellites and microsatellites in North America is being driven by the booming digitalization across industries along with surging demand for earth observation satellites.

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