By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
The Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria) or CPN says it has the capacity to boost Federal Government’s revenue with N4.5 billion yearly if the menace of ‘quacks in the information communication technology (ICT) industry’ is checkmated.
The CPN is a group under the Ministry of Education charged with the control and supervision of the computing profession in the country. The Council is primarily charged with responsibility for building-up local Information Technology (IT) capacity as well as the regulation of IT practice in the country.
The CPN President/Council Chairman, Prof Vincent Asor, who spoke in Lagos while unveiling activities for this year’s IT Professionals Assembly scheduled for next month in Kaduna, Kaduna State, condemned quackery in IT practice urging the Federal Government to sack any person or group of persons engaging in IT practice without registration immediately.
Towards a Dependable and Sustainable National IT Infrastructure is the theme, said with Federal Government’s support and that of the private sector the CPN has the capacity to contribute over N4.5 billion lost yearly by properly regulating the industry.
“Quackery is the bane of IT practice in Nigeria. Quackery is worrisome. I want to re-emphasise that quackery in IT practice must stop. The Federal Government says the country is broke, ICT is a sector that can boost government’s revenue and CPN can raise billions of naira to the government yearly.
“We have more than 100,000 IT professionals in the country with less than N10, 000 annual fees for individuals. We also have about 20,000 corporate IT professionals with N150, 000 annual fees. There is no reason we cannot raise the said amount if all the IT professionals registers with the CPN. This Council can support the government with this amount without moving out of the office. It is time the Federal Government woke up. IT is open to everybody in the information highway but it must be regulated accordingly. If practitioners are registered, cyber crime will reduce to the barest minimum and we will make money for the government.”
He said: “IT Assembly is an exclusive networking event for senior IT decision makers, IT consultants, upcoming IT entrepreneurs, IT practitioners, teachers and IT systems administrators.”
Prof Asor said the Assembly would provide a platform for innovative technology distribution and for service providers to showcase their products and services and for participants to appreciate the emerging technologies, trends, and risks that are associated with transforming the various industries using IT.
Speaking on CPN’s mandate, he said: “As the regulatory authority in IT education and practice in Nigeria, the Council’s mandate is to provide a regulated and standard-driven environment for IT education and practice in Nigeria such that socio-economic development is engendered.
“Council is also to determine the standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the computing profession and improve those standards from time to time as circumstances may permit; As the regulatory authority in IT education and practice in Nigeria, the Council’s mandate is to provide a regulated and standard-driven environment for IT education and practice in Nigeria such that socio-economic development is engendered.
“Council is also to determine the standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the computing profession and improve those standards from time to time as circumstances may permit.”
He said CPN is also the regulatory body for IT education. “This means that we are in charge of accreditation for courses that will churn out professionals in IT practice. This is without loss of generality to NUC (National University Commission). Today, how many universities have CPN accreditation? The CPN Act is clear about it. We have written to the universities but the response is slow. In fact, some universities wrote back challenging our authority to so act.
“They don’t understand where the line is drawn between NUC and CPN. We have explained and most of them are still adamant. Less than three per cent of over 150 universities have responded. The NUC is not to determine the standard of knowledge and skills to practice the IT profession. CPN does.
“They do not want to pay accreditation charges of N1,100,000, a charge paid once every five years for universities that pass the accreditation hurdles. This money belongs to the government. But, government is losing it to quackery in the Ivory Tower.”
He said the CPN will descend on quacks practising IT without registering with the Council, adding they will be arrested and charged to court. He disclosed that the regulation and enforcement unit of CPN is out for enforcement.