NCS to NITDA: Don’t license, register IT contractors

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) has insisted that only the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) has power to register and licence IT contractors. Therefore, attempt by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to do same amounts to usurpation of CPN’s duties and double registration.

NCS President, Prof Adesola Aderounmu, who referred to the relevant sections of the law that created CPN, said NITDA is an agency charged with the responsibility of developing the appropriate framework and policies for the smooth running of the industry.

He said if public sector IT projects had been awarded to contractors registered with CPN, they most likely would not have failed on the massive scale the NITDA DG alleged. He added that the appropriate step NITDA would have taken was to report the erring contractors to CPN and not latching onto to that dabble into usurping the duties constitutionally assigned to CPN.

He said the provisions of Act 49 of June 1993 gave CPN the mandate to register and licence IT contractors because section 2(2) of the Act empowers it to register members.

“Persons admitted to the membership of the profession shall be registered as members of the profession in various categories including the corporate member category; (under) CPN Act section 8(1), CPN has the mandate to keep, publish, print the list of all registered professional and is available for inspection for members of the public at all reasonable time. This has been in operation since 1998; while CPN Act section 18(2b) deals with licensing. It prescribes the form of licence to be issued annually.”

“The call for another registration and licensing of IT contractors by NITDA is tantamount to double registration which is contrary to the Federal Government’s policy on ease of doing business. Furthermore it may lead to the registration of quacks and non-professionals.

“Failed and substandard public IT projects cited by NITDA should have been reported to CPN for necessary action. IT contracts should only be awarded to CPN registered members; the list is available online and in accordance with Public Procurement Act 2007.

“Registering and licensing IT contractors is not within the mandate of NITDA which is to create framework, guidelines and policy to develop IT. When properly implemented, it will solve the problem of unemployment in Nigeria which is the focus of the present administration,” Prof Aderounmu said.

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