By EMEKA AGINAM
Despite the vast number of certified professionals in aspect of Information Technology services in the country, the President of the Nigerian Computer Society, (NCS), Mr. Demola Aladekomo has said that Nigeria is still largely a consumer nation in the IT world.
In his investiture address recently during the 2011national information technology merit awards (NITMA), he told the gathering that the nation still operates a vendor mentality, adding that the industry was controlled by businessmen and not necessarily technocrats.
The result, according to him, was that vast sums of money in foreign exchange were carted off to foreign countries by their representatives and vendors locally.
“In most companies especially within the service sector (e.g. banking, insurance and related sectors), IT expenditure is third in the league of company expenses after salaries and infrastructure. On the average, a bank will spend between $2m and $3m annually on IT and related services.
“Alas, there is very little or no corresponding development of a core of national professionals or indigenous world class service companies to meet this demand locally” he explained.
According to him, NCS was determined to have appropriate and adequate legal framework for the desired standard of ICT products and service delivery in Nigeria.
To this end, we intend to commission a group to study issues involved and make recommendations.
“Let me use the occasion of our investiture to make this clarion call to all and sundry to come on board and together let us embark on this noble national assignment not only to lay an enduring legacy for veritable applications of ICT but also for economic, political commercial emancipation of our people.
“We must rise and face up now to lay the foundation for genuine independence. We need to employ the ubiquitous tool of our profession to achieve credible foundation for our nations take off in respect of science and technology.
”The sustainability and the provision of appropriate institutional frameworks for meaningful exploitation of ICT is a task must be done. I dear say the time is now. e can do it” the NCS President said.
He informed that his administration took over the leadership of the NCS at a critical time in the history of our nation when several of our compatriots are at a dilemma over whether the benefits of ICT truly outweighs the evils to which it was being put.
“We are at a time when cyber crime is on the increase without a corresponding response from either the government or the regulatory agencies.
“We are assuming office at a time when such vices as phone and e-mail hacking are becoming acceptable form of information gathering for some people; and when the invasion of the private lives of individuals is being regarded as smartness.
We are equally aware and conscious of the promises we made during the electioneering campaigns” the NCS said.
Meanwhile, it was a mixture of celebration, reward and positioning for the future at national information technology merit awards (NITMA) 2011 organized by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS).
The colourful and well attended event attracted top stakeholders in Nigeria’s IT community who came to celebrate and honour their brightest and best.