NCS to NITDA: you don't have power to register, license IT contractors
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has cautioned the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) over its plan to register and licence all IT contractors in the country.
NCC said it is not within the mandate of NITDA to do so because the agency is to promote the development of the industry through well thought out policy and programmes.
NITDA Director-General, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, had in a statement lamented that over 95 per cent of the IT security projects executed by Federal Government ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) and other public and private organisations, were discovered to have been compromised. He therefore said all IT contracts in the IT industry must not only be vetted by the agency but will be registered and licensed.
But the NCS President, Prof Adesola Aderounmu, yesterday said NITDA will be usurping the powers and functions of the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN).
He said: “Our position is that this is not part of NITDA’s mandate because as the name suggests, this agency is to plan, promote and develop regulatory framework and guidelines as stated in NITDA Act 2007, section 6a.
“The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) Act 49 of 1993 is saddled with the mandate to register, license, supervise and control the profession as stated in CPN Act section 1 (2).”
Prof Aderounmu lamented that the statement of the NITDA DG purporting to want to register and licence ICT contractors was capable of confusing the general public to create an uncoordinated approach to policy issues and the Acts of Parliament.
“NCS is of the belief that NITDA’s mandate is to ensure seamless cooperation and interaction towards the use of IT as a development tool for the country.
NCS commends the approach and wisdom of the Presidential Executive Order 005 of President Muhammadu Buhari which emphasises professionalism. The Public Procurement Act 2007 with particular reference to section 19 if properly implemented will promote best practices professionally. On a related note CPN Act section 22, states that failure to engage professional practitioners is an offence in Nigeria punishable under the Act,” he said.
The NCS chief advised NITDA in its advocacy capacity not to embark on registering and licensing of IT Contractors and service providers activities but instead concentrate on developmental issues which can be jointly achieved collaboratively. “CPN is the only agency with the mandate to register and license IT professionals and contractors in Nigeria,” he said.