The President and Chairman in Council of the Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria) CPN, Professor Vincent Asor at the weekend disclosed that the Government was losing over N4.5 billion annually to quackery in In Information Technology, IT, practice.
CPN is a body under the Ministry of education charged with the control and supervision of the computing profession in the country. The Council is primarily charged with responsibility for building-up local Information Technology (IT) capacity as well as the regulation of IT practice in Nigeria.
Asor who spoke at the weekend to Technology Journalists to unfold activities for the 2016 IT Professionals Assembly with the theme, ‘Towards a dependable and sustainable national IT infrastructure ‘ holding next month in Kaduna State, noted that with the support of government and private sector, the CPN has the capacity to raise over N4.5 billion annually through IT regulation.
To realize the money, the University Don who condemned in clear terms, quackery in the Nigerian IT practice said that the government should disengage any person or group engaging in IT practice without registration immediately.
"Quackery has been the bane of IT practice in Nigeria. Quackery is worrisome .I want to re-emphasize that quackery in IT practice must stop. Enough is enough. Government says they are broke. CPN can raise billions of naira to the government annually.
"We have more than 100,000 IT professionals in the country with less than N10, 000.00 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 registers with the CPN. This Council can support the government with this amount without moving out of the office. It is time the government wakes up. 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".
Noting that it will no more be business as usual henceforth for quackery, he said that the , "IT Assembly is an exclusive networking event for senior Information Technology (IT) decision makers, IT consultants, upcoming IT entrepreneurs, IT practitioners, teachers and IT Systems administrators.
He disclosed that the Assembly would provide a platform for some of the industry 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.
"As the regulatory authority in IT education and practice in Nigeria, the Council‘s mandate is to provide a regulated and standard-driven environment for IT education and practice in Nigeria such that socio-economic development is 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", he explained. CPN mandate: As the regulatory authority in IT education and practice in Nigeria, the Council‘s mandate is to provide a regulated and standard-driven environment for IT education and practice in Nigeria such that socio-economic development is 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", he said.
Accreditation of Universities
He said that CPN is the regulatory body for IT education. "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 NUC. Today, how many universities have 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 NUC and CPN. We have explained and mist of them are still adamant. Less than 3% of over 150 Universities have responded. The NUC is not to determine the standard of knowledge and skills to practice the IT profession. CPN does.
"They do not want to pay accreditation charges of One million, one hundred thousand Naira (N1,100,000), a charge paid once every five years for Universities that pass the accreditation hurdles. These monies belong to government. But, government is losing it. This is a quackery challenge in the Ivory Tower", he noted.
But going forward, the CPN boss vowed that they will fish them out. Anybody practicing IT without registering with the Council will be arrested and charged to court. Government is losing revenues annually through non accreditation and quackery in IT practice, he said.
He disclosed that the regulation and enforcement unit of CPN is out for enforcement. Until this is done, quackery will remain unabated, he added.
Throwing more lights on enforcement, in his remarks, the Acting Registrar and Secretary to the Council of CPN, Mr. Idowu Olusile added that Sensitization is now completed. This is action time to claim our mandate and also support government to realize the reasons for our establishment. We shall begin enforcement immediately. It is not going to be business as usual again" he said.