Thursday, February 15, 2018

CPN, not NITDA has mandate to register, license IT contractors – NCS insists

The last may not have been heard of the controversial registration and licensing of Information Technology (IT) contractors embarked upon by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has insisted that only the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) has the power to conduct registration and licensing in IT industry, reports ITRealms.

NCS, ITRealms recalls is the umbrella organization of all Information Technology professionals in Nigeria and diaspora, interest groups and stakeholders in the country.

Anything other than CPN registration, NCS told ITRealms is tantamount to double registration and contravenes the Federal Government policy on ease of doing business and lacks due process.

The latest is coming in reaction to NITDA insistence in carrying on with the so-called registration and licensing, this NCS decried, saying it may lead to the registration of quacks and non-professionals because the exercise is devoid of due diligence as enshrined in the CPN Act 49 of June 1993.

As alluded by NCS President, Prof. Adesola G. Aderounmu to ITRealms, is self-serving and any undercurrent discovered in the industry should be have been reported to CPN promptly.

NCS further argued that based on CPN mandate of Act 49 of June 1993, only the Council has the authority to register and license IT contractors, citing the CPN Act section 2, subsection 2 on membership registration, which states inter alia:

“Persons admitted to the membership of the profession shall be registered as members of the profession in various categories including the corporate member category.”

Also NCS cited section 8 (1) on the list, which states thus, “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.”

And finally, NCS cited the CPN Act section 18, subsection 2b, which focused on licensing and asserted that “It prescribes the form of licence to be issued annually.”

NCS president, a professor of computer science, pointed out that the call for another registration and licensing of IT contractors by NITDA is equivalent 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,” NCS president declared.

Aderounmu who also is the Director, African Centre of Excellence in Software Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, maintained that the failed and substandard public IT projects alleged by NITDA as basis for current controversial registration and licensing, 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,” NCS president said

Prof. Aderounmu emphasised that 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,” NCS president insisted.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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