Professor Simon Adesina Sodiya has been re-elected, unopposed, as the President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), TechEconomy.ng can report.
NCS is the umbrella body of all IT professionals, interest groups and stakeholders in Nigeria.
With about 15,000 members, spread across all the states of the federation, NCS remains the only national IT society with highly-skillful and dependable domain experts in various fields of Information Technology.
NCS, with major interest groups (ISPON, ITAN, NiWIIT, ITSSP, AITP, NITPCS) and structural organs (College of Fellows, Chapters, NACOS), remains committed to promoting and leapfrogging IT development in Nigeria.
Sodiya, alongside other members of the 22nd National Executive Council (NEC) for 2021-2023 were elected at the 2021 International Conference held in Uyo, capital of Akwa-Ibom State, from Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5th of August 2021.
Members of the NEC of NCS 2021-2023:
Meanwhile, the swearing-in ceremony/inauguration of the 22nd NEC of NCS held on Wednesday, August 25 at the secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja – Lagos with past presidents/leaders of the Society in attendance such as Alhaji Ladi Ogunye and Tunde Ezichi.
The past presidents tasked the incoming NEC on the need to strengthen the campaign on Information Technology (IT) Policy advocacy and local content development, which they said were key to the growth of the computing profession and for the national development of the country.
Addressing the ICT journalists immediately after the oath-taking ceremony, Prof. Adesina set the tone for the new NEC, thus:
“We have actually commenced work on most of the things that our elders mentioned. Recently, we constituted a committee to look at how to integrate other IT-related interest groups into the umbrella of the Nigeria Computer Society. We have started discussing with the Fintech Association of Nigeria, Cybersecurity Association of Nigeria; even blockchain stakeholders groups. We felt that we should do this for a national ICT body that has everybody on board.
“Apart from that, there are many people practicing IT in Nigeria who are not with us. And just like one of the elders mentioned, we are going to involve our startups more. We are planning an IT-Business Forum and we have gotten in touch with a number of startups. We have them to make presentations and tell us the challenges they have; in fact, my discussions with them at this stage has nothing to do with membership or joining NCS. We want to create a relationship first and then discussions continue”.
Some of the elders also pushed for a need to have national honour for past leaders of NCS. Responding to that, the President welcomed the idea stating that “those that started this journey deserve special honours. They did a lot of work. Even 80% of the composition of NITDA Act 2007 came from our members”.
Speaking on NCS as on the forefront of IT advocacy in Nigeria, Prof. Sodiya said the Society, within the next two years, will intensify its membership drive.
He said, “People are calling on their own to join NCS. We have been able to enhance the image of the Nigeria Computer Society in the last two years. That reflects on the number of people joining NCS, programme attendees.
On Advocacy, we will continue to charge the government to do the right thing and that is what we are for. NCS started at the time only few individuals could afford a computer, the public then we counted on mainframe computers probably in Unilag, UI, etc. but we have gotten to the time digital devices are prevalent. Therefore, we shall continue to let the government understand the need to provide necessary support to those who play a key role in ICT development”.
Lending his voice to the calls for the deployment of technology to tackle national security, he said that the country has gotten to an embarrassing situation where armed bandits could gain access to the nation’s defense academy.
The NCS President said, “That is a huge test for us as a nation and it is very embarrassing. If we are not careful this will become more serious. We know the government has been making efforts to tame the bandits, but it is not enough or efficient enough for us to solve our national security challenge”.
He said that the Society made recommendations in the past on how to leverage on technology to curb the menace.
“Apart from that, we have set up a community to look at how we can effectively use technology to solve our national security challenges. We recently formed a new committee which has just submitted the report. They made a lot of recommendations and solutions again if the government is willing to adopt them.
One of the recommended solutions is the use of sensors to be able to track these criminals. For instance, the kidnappers have been collecting ransom; why not infuse sensors in the money which can be tracked. Are we saying we cannot track our money with modern technology?
The committee also strongly believes the government should intensify efforts in the use of surveillance drones. The drones are unmanned so even if they are destroyed no life will be lost, but drones can assist in intelligence gathering. The cost of a drone is not as expensive as the fighter jets.
Also speaking on the ongoing process to repeal the NITDA Act 2007, he said that NCS has constituted a committee from which NCS will draft its recommendations.
He warned that NITDA has become a sensitive Agency because of its critical role in galvanizing the IT and startup ecosystem hence the amendment must be carried out with utmost care in order not to stifle innovation.
Prof. Adesina also emphasized a need to re-engage those who drafted the initial Act (2007) to make recommendations towards the present exercise.
Before then, he served NCS in different capacities including;
- Chairman, NCS Ogun State Chapter (2008 – 2013)
- Chairman, Publication, Standards, Research and Development Committee (2011-2013)
- Chairman, Education and Manpower Development Committee (2013-2015)
- Vice-President and Vice-Chairman in Council – CPN (2015-2017)
- President, Information Technology Systems and Security Professionals (2015-2019)
He has also served as a member of National Committees in NCS and Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria).
Here are some photos from the NEC of the Nigeria Computer Society 2021-2023 inauguration ceremony: