" ITREALMS: Don’t assent to IT bill – JACITAD urges Obj

ob Ad


Embracing breast cancer care with technology - ITREALMS

TelecomsClinic@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news! Preamble: A few days ago, Mr Aro in remembrance of his late wife, Nne...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Don’t assent to IT bill – JACITAD urges Obj

Swearing in ... L-r JACITAD president, Mr. Sola Fanawopo with his vice, Mr. Don Pedro Aganbi during their recent swearing in ceremony held in Lagos. Photo: itrealms online
Another controversy may be looming in the industry as a non-government organisation (NGO) focusing on Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), has urged President Olusegun Obasanjo to withhold his assent to the passed Information Technology (IT) Commission Bill, over an alleged sabotage.

The NGO alleged that what was passed by the National Assembly is at variance with what is before Mr. President.

The NGO known as the Joint Action Committee on ICT Awareness and Development (JACITAD) said, it has discovered some anomalies in the bill before the president and which is capable of undermining the management of the nation’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD).

It would be recalled that in the last six years, there have been lots of controversies surrounding the management of .ng, the nation’s ccTLD, which is the Internet address used for identification of Nigeria on the World Wide Web (www), just as United Kingdom is .uk, South Africa is .za, among others.

In a letter to President Obasanjo dated Monday, January 15, 2007, cornered by ITRealms Online, JACITAD through its President, Mr. Sola Fanawopo, said that there exist some inclusions in the passed IT law that may subvert the aspiration of the Nigerian internet community.

JACITAD, he said, would like to bring to the urgent attention of Mr President that the Bill seeking to establish the National Information Technology Commission, empowering it to plan, develop and promote the use of IT in the country, includes provision that “threatens to undermine Internet growth in Nigeria."

He recalled that consequent upon the intervention of President Obasanjo who brokered peace among those contending for the ownership and management of the national resource, he gave directive that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) should take over supervision of setting up of a ccTLD manager.

This, in the guidelines of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) should be in the form of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that represents the common interest of the nation’s Internet community.

Mr Fanawopo, noted that though this NGO, came on stream as the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), certain provisions smuggled into the final Bill are capable of “hijacking the smooth running of this body if the law goes into effect.”

He said that currently final bill before Mr. President is totally a different version of what the National Assembly passed and thus there is a looming controversy in the ICT sector that could last for a long time to come.

"Significantly, the version that was passed by the National Assembly is at variance with proposals forwarded by the Nigerian internet community during series of extensive public hearings of which various stakeholders including JACITAD participated", he stated in the letter co-signed by the Secretary-General of JACITAD, Mr. Prince Osuagwu.

"We would also like to place on record that certain provisions were not included in the draft Bill that was presented to stakeholders during the review and subsequent public hearing undertaken at the National Assembly on the matter", they alleged.

He also recalled that in accordance with the directive of Mr. President, NITDA, an agency of the Federal Ministry Science and Technology (FMST) was appointed 'Technical Contact' to ensure the successful berthing of NIRA.

Confirming the looming controversy, founder of Technology Times and member Board of Trustees (BoT) of NIRA, Mr Shina Badaru, told our correspondent that other stakeholders, through their representatives on NIRA have also expressed concern over the disclosure that the final version of the Bill that was passed, "was not the version that was presented for review by stakeholders."

He said, "We were surprised to see that some supplementary provisions have made their way into the final version of the Bill that was passed which grant broad powers to NITDA or any other agency created by the proposed law over what should ordinarily, reflect the diversity of the Nigerian internet community."

Mr. Badaru emphasised that JACITAD aligns its position to that of industry stakeholders who condemned the sabotage and demanded for its immediate review.

"We align our position with that of other ICT industry stakeholders who believe that the passed law calls for urgent review as the foundation of the domain name management is quite pivotal to the growth and development of a virile Internet community in Nigeria," he said.

He emphasised that provisions in the passed IT bill, according unimaginable powers to NITDA or any other government agency formed thereof, definitely negates the purpose of directive for the conciliatory stance of Mr President and that of ICANN, the global Internet coordinating agency.Efforts to reach the Head, Public Affairs at NITDA, Mr. Inye Kemabonta, proved were not successful.
Posted by Picasa ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

No comments: