By Emeka Aginam
To maximize and deepen the benefits of electronic governance and digital transformation in Nigeria, the Nigerian Computer Society, the President of the Nigerian Computer Soceity, NCS, Prof Adesola Aderounmu has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to consider the appointment of seasoned IT professionals to head the Ministry of Communication Technology and other IT agencies in the country.
Professionalism in governance
Aderounmu who stated this in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Engr. Babachir David Lawal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said that the CT ministry, with other IT agencies in Nigeria, if well managed, can resolve Nigeria job crises and further create wealth for the nation similar to the IT revolution going on in India.
While urging the government to give priority to the use of registered local IT professionals and registered local IT companies to execute IT jobs, the university don said that was need to appoint seasoned IT professionals on the boards of ministries, departments and agencies.
Pre-qualification requirements for IT projects
According to him, the government should as a mater of urgency direct the Burea of Public Procurement , BPP , to amend the pre-qualification requirements for IT projects to include evidence of registration with Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria, CPN, and the Nigerian Computer Society, NCS, in addition to the newly introduced pre-qualification requirements such as evidence of registration with, National Pension Commission, PENCOM, and evidence of remittance of fund to Industrial Training Fund, ITF.
IT professionals in MDAs
For a digital Nigeria, he said that the present administration should mandate MDAs to appoint IT professionals as directors of IT, as well as direct all MDAs to establish IT career structure if not yet in place.
To avoid quackery in the IT profession, , he advised the government to implement the use of CPN registration as a condition to employ IT professional staff in MDAs to level 10 as approved and gazetted by the Federal Government of Nigeria, adding that the government should also mandate NCS in collaboration with NITDA to supervise all IT projects to be implemented in Nigeria.
To further deepen IT penetration in the group, the NCS President also called for the urgent push for comprehensive broadband access all over the country as well as implementation and monitoring of local content policy to encourage MDAs to patronize indigenous software and hardware.
While calling for the establishment of IT parks using Public-Private-Partnership models, he noted that the establishment of Digital Centres in all the 774 Local Government Areas in collaboration with the State Governments was imperative.
NCS, according to him, concurs with President Buhari on the harmonization of the national database for Nigeria.
“We call for urgent deployment of IT to tackle Boko Haram and terrorism in Nigeria, assuring that NCS was ready to provide practical solutions using IT to solve the problem and collaboration of critical stakeholders with NCS in pushing the details and implications of the cybercrime Act into the public domain, and begin full implementation.
“The role of professional bodies in the attainment of economic development in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised. National policies, political, economic or financial, can only make the desired impact and make our dear country great, if implemented by qualified persons”, he added.