NCS – Nigeria Computer Society, has embarked on a self-appraisal mission as some past and the present Presidents were joined by other members in charting a new course for the 42-year-old Society, TechEconomy.ng can report.
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 ammonization 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.
Past, Present Presidents meet with members
However, with the turn of events orchestrated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing dynamics of the 21st Century economy, the Education Committee of the Society on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 convened a Webinar under the theme: NCS: Challenges and Future Direction.
The session featured President of the Society – Professor Adesina Sodiya and some past Presidents – Dr. Chris Nwannenna; Prof. Charles Uwadia and Sir Ademola Adadekomo.
Opening the conversation, Dr. Chris Nwannenna, thanked the current leadership of the NCS for the foresightedness and interests to drive the Society to a new height.
In his presentation, he called for increased collaboration between the Society and relevant bodies.
In his words, Dr Nwannenna said, “We should engage more with more institutions and organisations for partnerships because It permeates every sector. Therefore, NCS’ advisories and professional assistance are needed across the board. Let’s expand our tentacles.
Speaking on the on-going secretariat building, he suggested that the present leadership of the Society embarks on fund-raising from government agencies and corporate organisations who are ‘friends’ of the Society
Prof. Charles Uwadia, also a Past President of NCS and the incumbent President/Chairman-in-Council, of the Computer Practitioners (Registration Council) of Nigeria (CPN), said that Prof. Sodiya led National Executive Council has shown intent to redefine the existence of NCS and make its relevance felt in the digital economy ecosystem.
He however, said that with a membership base below 50,000, NCS should strive to reach 1,000,000 memberships in the next few years.
In his words, “NCS remains relevant in every facet of our national development, especially as it relates to IT development. Therefore, we have to enhance the membership base. First, let us start with stronger State Chapters and formidable expert groups.
Secondly, registration for membership should commence from local chapters which is a bottom-up approach. Today, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has Ikeja branch, Akoka branch and other smaller units or chapters thereby bringing membership closer to the professionals. They are all answerable to the national body.
“Thirdly, NCS should start projecting its members to the political space; that means, we can influence policies that will impact the industry positively. Definitely, Nigerian would need us to do more. For instance, the JAMBites and PUTME candidates should benefit from our services. That is another means to catch them young.
In his contribution, Sir Ademola Aladekomo, congratulated the present leadership of NCS for summing courage to lead a new course for the society’s development.
Sir Aladekomo believes that drive for local content should be on priority list of NCS whereby the Society engages more with leading agencies like NITDA to protect indigenous companies who are corporate members.
According to the past president, the future of NCS relies on the students hence NACOSS and NIWIIT membership strength should be perceived as a great avenues to boost its fortunes.
“In addition, there is a need for NCS to play the intermediary role between the ‘town and gown’ such that before graduation a computing student should understand the relevance of NCS to his or her career path in the industry.
Sir Aladekomo also hinted that NCS should carry-on with the vision to generate one million jobs for the teeming youths in Nigeria.
“Call centers alone can generate one million jobs in the country. This was tested during the time of Dr. Omobola Johnson as the Minister of Communications Technology and we saw it is achievable. So, NCS should engage Ministry, agencies and private bodies with achievable proposals on how to drive job creation”, he said.
He also suggested how the Society can assist to drive smart city projects across the country and contribute to the fight against insecurity in the land leveraging technology.
“While thanking the participants, the incumbent president of NCS, Prof. Adesina Sodiya, said that their contributions are reflections of intent to support the growth and development of the foremost umbrella of IT professionals in Nigeria.
“I must thank the past presidents who have tried at one time or the other to reposition our ever growing Society. Your contributions have shown we are tilting towards the right directions”, he said.
Prof. Sodiya who was elected as President during the 2019 NCS conference in Gombe State, said that his leadership has religiously followed the promises he made from the onset.
In his words, “We run inclusive administration. We have focused on the mandate to bring on board those IT practitioners who are outside the umbrella of NCS.
“We have also seen other IT bodies springing up but we are aware that NCS has stood the test of time hence this webinar was convened to harness ideas on how it will remain relevant in many years to come. NCS will remain a leading voice championing the course for IT development in our dear nation and all hands should be on deck to drive that vision.
On student membership, the NCS President told the participants that the ‘C’ in NACOSS was recently changed to reflecting ‘Computing’ thereby expanding the scope of membership. “The national President of NACOSS now seats in the NEC meetings as an observer. That way, himself and others are nurtured for the tasks ahead”.
He also said that NCS is already engaging Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government including NIMC; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Federal Ministry of Health; National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), amongst others as means for NCS to contribute its quota to the growth of different sectors of the economy and enhance its visibility.
Prof. Sodiya however regretted that with membership strength close to 15,000, NCS should boost its membership subscription of about N500 million. However, the increase in non-financial members has incapacitated some of the projects at hand.
He cited the national secretariat project as imperative hence every member should pay-up their dues. According to the President, the NEC has already signed a contract up to the roofing level for the building construction.