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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Senate plans review of CPN Act to protect OEMs

Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator (Mrs) Joy Emordi has disclosed that the National Assembly would soon commence review of the Act 49 of 1993 that established the Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN).

Speaking at a one-day working visit to CPN secretariat in Lagos among other parastatals within the committee’s purview, Senator Emordi, said that the Act is due for review given the avalanche of evolutions within the Information Technology (IT) core industry in the country, especially to protect the Original Equipment Manufacturers and upgrade standards of practice.

She said, this would also give CPN more powers to leverage best practices on the industry, mostly in the areas of ensuring quality and standardization of IT core sector.

“You want us to amend the law. I think its necessary to get that (amendment) done,” she declared, adding that she would personally sponsor the bill to facilitate the relevant changes to have a high quality computer standard identical to world-class.

Senator Emordi equally noted that in the actual sense, CPN should be performing the work similar to that of NAFDAC in the IT sector.

“I will sponsor that (amendment) bill as a private bill, because it will be faster and it will help in curbing crimes in the sector,” she said, stressing that the OEMs, including Zinox, Omatek, Beta and Brain, among others, for instance, need support of the government and the Senate would soon do something about their predicament given the kind of upper hand they suffer from foreign brands, via access to government top functionaries, so as to enable them survive and create more jobs for the populace in the country.

She further commended CPN for the efforts so far in uplifting the level of IT education and practice in the country.

Welcoming the Senate committee chairman and her entourage to the secretariat earlier, CPN president, Dr. (Mrs) Adenike Osofisan, had requested the amendment of Act 49 of 1993 to give CPN more powers to deal with any unprofessional act by members and make it mandatory for any foreign brands to register with the council as well as its core IT personnel.

She lamented that most of the foreign brand have turned Nigeria into a dumping ground in that some of the products they cannot deploy in their home base are being shifted to developing country like Nigeria, because of easy access to nucleus of government than their local counterparts.

According to her, CPN needs more powers in order to firmly sanitise the IT industry, recalling that CPN mission is to develop the potentials of IT as a veritable source of income earning for the nation.

“We’re conscious of the tremendous progress made by several countries especially the Asian Tigers in IT and how it has impacted positively on their economies,” she asserted.

Also, Dr. Osofisan said that CPN believes that a similar feat could be achieved here if enabling acts are put together.

“Apart from being a critical sector in the attainment of sustainable development for the nation and the betterment of life for our people, IT industry can attract a lot of foreign exchange to the country, if it is properly harnessed,” she noted.

And in order to make the desired impact, she said that CPN has embarked on accreditation of computer programmes in private and public training institutions, launched computer studies curricula for primary and junior secondary schools, developed a code of ethics and professional conduct as well as annually publishing the lists of registered members.

“So that it would be very easy for employers of labour, government and members of the public to know the real professionals and make use of their services,” Dr. Osofisan asserted.

She emphasised that CPN had recognised the importance of enhancing the quality of computer products, hence it’s collaborating with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), establishment of national academy of IT and continuous professional development programme for its membership.

“We, therefore request that you help us in ensuring that IT contract jobs are given to properly licensed IT professionals and companies to ensure accountability and promote due process,” she submitted.

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