NCS to Buhari: appoint IT professional as ComTech minister

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Information technology (IT) professionals in Nigeria acting under the aegis of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint an IT professional as ComTech minister. The group decried the predilection of successive governments to appoint what it described as ‘square pegs in round holes’, adding that this had stunted the growth of the IT sector and the national economy in general.

Prof Sola Aderounmu, who is the president of NCS, said the administration of President Buhari was 100 days old in office on September 6, adding that Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the his ministerial nominees as promised during his state visit to the United States (U.S). The group urged the president, known for his integrity and zero tolerance for corruption, to appoint men and women of unquestionable character to serve in his cabinet.

“As a professional group, we are not unaware of the clamour by Nigerians on the need to nominate men of sound pedigree and untainted integrity to serve as ministers in the current administration. We at the NCS, as a society and the umbrella body for all IT practitioners in Nigeria align ourselves with these general call by the populace that it cannot be business as usual.

“We also want to unequivocally assert that a major bane in under-performance by some ministers lies in the choice of non-professionals to serve as ministers especially in some key ministries that require some level of technical expertise and understanding industry understanding.

“We therefore urge the President that in his choice of minister for Communications Technology, consideration should be given to a professional in the field of IT who has clear understanding of the challenges of the industry and ways to move it forward for the greater good of the country. Such a person must not only be a practising IT professional but must possess among other qualifications, membership of local relevant IT bodies, that is, Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) and NCS,” Prof Aderoumu said.

He said President Buhari must end the practice of offering political appointment as gratification for party politics, adding that people with integrity and requisite skills must be given opportunity to serve the Nigeria.

He said, “Similar to what is being done in Ministries of Health and that of Justice, where medical personnel and lawyers are appointed respectively, we request that Mr. President extends same to the ICT ministry.

“We wish to bring it to the attention of Mr. President that the Communications Technology Ministry, if well managed, is capable of resolving the job crisis and further create wealth for the nation similar to the ICT revolution going on in India and the rest of Asia.”

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