Nigeria Loses N4.5bn Annually to Quackery in ICT

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Vincent Asor

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The Computer Professionals of Nigeria says the federal government loses N4.5 billion to quackery in the information communication and technology sector

THE federal government is losing more than N4.5 billion annually to quackery in information communication and technology practice in Nigeria.  Vincent Asor, president and chairman in council of the Computer Professionals of Nigeria, CPN, said the government could avert such loss of funds if only it could immediately disengage any person, or group, engaging in IT practice without registration.

With the support of government and the private sector, Asor said the CPN had the capacity to generate more than N4.5billion annually through IT regulation. Asor stated this while unfolding activities for the 2016 IT Professionals Assembly themed, ‘Towards a Dependable and Sustainable National IT Infrastructure’.

“Quackery has been the bane of IT practice in Nigeria.  Quackery is worrisome. I want to re-emphasise that quackery in IT practice must stop. Enough is enough. Government says they are broke, but the CPN can raise billions of naira for the government annually.

“We have more than 100,000 IT professionals in the country with less than N10,000 annual fees for individuals. We also have about 20,000 corporate IT professionals, with N150,000 annual fees. There is no reason we cannot raise the said amount if all the IT professionals register with the CPN.”

The CPN president said that the council could support the government with the amount without moving out of the office, saying it was time the government woke up to its responsibilities. “IT is open to everybody in the information highway but it must be regulated accordingly. If people are registered accordingly, cybercrime will reduce to the barest minimum and we will make money for the government,” Asor said.

He said it would no more be business as usual henceforth for quackery, saying, “IT Assembly is an exclusive networking event for senior Information Technology decision makers, IT consultants, upcoming IT entrepreneurs, IT practitioners, teachers and IT Systems administrators.”

According to him, the assembly will provide a platform for some of the industry’s innovative technology distribution and service providers to showcase their products and services and for participants to appreciate the emerging technologies, trends, and risks that are associated with transforming the various industries using IT.

He said that as the regulatory authority in IT education and practice in Nigeria, the council’s mandate was to provide a regulated and standard-driven environment for IT education and practice in Nigeria such that socio-economic development was engendered. “Council is also to determine the standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the computing profession and improve those standards from time to time as circumstances may permit.”

On accreditation of universities, he said that the CPN was the regulatory body for IT education, saying, “This means that we are in charge of accreditation for courses that will churn out professionals in IT practice.”

“This is without loss of generality to the National Universities Commission.  Today, how many universities have the CPN accreditation? The CPN act is clear about it. We have written to the universities but the response is slow. Very slow, in fact, some universities wrote back challenging our authority to so act.

“They don’t understand where the line is drawn between the NUC and the CPN. We have explained and most of them are still adamant. Less than three per cent of over 150 universities have responded. The NUC is not to determine the standard of knowledge and skills to practise the IT profession,” he said.

—  Jun 6, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT

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