" ITREALMS: Sesan calls out NASS on heinous NITDA bill 2023, alleges falsehood in Oseni report - ITREALMS

Friday, May 19, 2023

Sesan calls out NASS on heinous NITDA bill 2023, alleges falsehood in Oseni report - ITREALMS

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The Nigerian first-ever Information Technology Youth Ambassador and Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, Mr. Gbenga Sesan has called out the National Assembly Senate Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Cyber Security over false claims of stakeholders’ support for the proposed National IT Development Agency (NITDA) Repeal and Enactment Bill (SB 1082, reports 
Sesan calls out NASS on heinous NITDA bill 2023, alleges falsehood in Oseni report - ITREALMS
Reacting to the recent report by the Senate Committee that 17 organisations submitted memoranda in support of the Bill while 14 opposed and used that argument to justify its request to the Senate to proceed with the third reading and passage of the controversial bill, Mr. Sesan these claims were not near the truth and fact of the matter.

“The Nigerian Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Security's claim that majority of memos presented at its Public Hearing supported the NITDA Repeal and Enactment Bill (SB 1082) is false!” he declared on Facebook post on Friday, May 19, 2023.

Gbenga Sesan also observed that the Committee lied barefacedly that on Section 6(a) that NITDA was not hitherto a regulatory agency in the ICT sector.

He pointed out that merely looking at the list of 17 supporting organisations in the Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Security’s report, one will see that three (3) organisations' names were repeated, wondering if that was deliberate?

“Numbers i and xvii are the same organisation; and the same goes for iii and xv, and vi and xvi. This is worrisome! The list of the 31 organisations that the committee's own report listed as stakeholders who submitted memoranda shows that numbers i through xvi and xxvii — 17 organisations, not 14 as claimed — opposed SB 1082,” he asserted.

Sesan alleged that when the list is compared against the supporters as listed on page 5 of the committee’s report, and the list of all organisations that submitted memos on pages 2 and 3, “you will see that Sustainable Initiative for Nurturing Growth (SING), Network of Advocates for Digital Reporting (NADIR) and Schoola IT Central were deliberately added again at the end of the list to tilt the scale towards supporting memos.”

He went on to wonder again if the committee deliberately swapped numbers in order to deceive the Senate? Stressing that “when you consider that on pages 5 through 19 of the committee’s own report, they included extracts from 14 of the 17 memos opposing the bill but as for the inflated list of 17 supporters, they were just listed. What exactly did their memo say in support of the bill they want passed? How does Nigeria benefit?”

Sesan, who is currently on the board of United Nations I call on the distinguished members of the Senate, including its leadership, to ask questions from the committee that lied to it in order to demonstrate support for an unpopular bill. For the honourable members of the House of Representatives, led by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, it is important to ask why a bill that has been rejected by its target industry, (including ALL industry associations), civil society who work in the sector, law firms with requisite experience, relevant government agencies (including the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Computer Professionals’ Registration Council of Nigeria) being forced through?

Sesan, a former member of the United Nations Committee of eLeaders on Youth and ICT, beckoned on Nigeria’s ICT industry associations to grow a joint spine whose time has come, and called on the likes of the Nigeria Computer Society (and affiliate associations), Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, among others to stand up.

He still wondered “what is so special about the National Information Technology Development Agency Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2023 that Minister Isa Pantami and the Senator Oseni-led committee want to force it on Nigerians?

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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