COMPUTER PROFESSIONALS (REGISTRATION COUNCIL OF NIGERIA)
2018 ANNUAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS’ ASSEMBLY HELD ON WEDNESDAY 20TH TO THURSDAY 21ST, JUNE, 2018 AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA
The annual CPN Information Technology Professionals’ Assembly is a yearly gathering of Information Technology practitioners in Nigeria and diaspora with the objective of discussing and strategizing on emergent issues in Information Technology in order to come out with recommendations and decisions that will impact positively on the industry and the nation. The theme of the 2018 IT Assembly was “Professionalism in Information Technology: Past, Present and Future”.
The programme was preceded by the induction of new members into the profession which took place on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018. In his welcome address, the President/ Chairman-in-Council, Prof. Charles Uwadia congratulated the inductees and emphasized the statutory functions of the Council as enumerated in S.1 of the CPN Act. He further highlighted the benefits accruing to both individual and corporate members of the Council.
According to the President, the hallmark of professionalism is training and retraining of members of the profession. Hence, Council put in place Mandatory Continuing Professional DevelopmentProgramme (MCPD) to serve as the platform for the upward mobility in the Information Technology profession. He urged inductees to take advantage of the programme to update their knowledge. He also informed the new members that integrity and good moral conduct are expected of them at all time as they are considered as the ambassadors of the IT profession.
In his remark, the Registrar/Secretary to the Council, Mr. Allwell Achumba pointed out that CPN is getting the deserved attention and recognition from the public and private sectors of the economy both within and outside the country. Therefore, CPN is being repositioned for increased relevance, visibility, profitability and sustainability.
The Registrar emphasized that “we live in a world driven and powered by intellect and technology, a world where we see nations rise and fall as a result of its embrace or neglect of Information Technology.” He urged stakeholders to stop paying lip service to efforts aimed at building a solid and highly respected IT profession in Nigeria. He reiterated that IT profession has a lot of prospects in Nigeria. Therefore, practitioners should not be tired of making efforts and sacrifices especially in terms of effective regulation of IT profession as well as discharging their financial obligations to the profession in order to put it at its rightful place in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha was of the viewthatthe establishment of CPN was government’s way of demonstrating commitment to the development and deployment of Information Technology in Nigeria. Mr. Mustapha, who was represented by Mr. Emmanuel Ogunmefun, the Acting Director, Procurement,Researchand Statistics, expressed confidence that the Council would keep aligning itself to the federal government’s developmental goals, especially in science, technology and innovations.
In addition, he noted that IT remains a critical sector and the flagship of other professions, and one that is viewed seriously in the nation’s drive for sustainable national development.He also noted that as an agency of government established to control and regulate the practice of IT profession in Nigeria, the role of CPN in the scheme of developmental goals of government could not be over-emphasized.
Also speaking on issues confronting the country, the Minister of Education. Malam Adamu Adamu said the Federal Government recognized the critical role of IT in its developmental agenda and has therefore made it a priority.
Malam Adamu who was represented by the Director, ICT in the ministry, Mr. I. K. Oji, lamented the poor state of IT in the country. He urged participants to discuss how the nation Nigeria can facilitate technology-enabled learning as a way of preparing the youths for the future workplace.
Invited papers dealing with different topics relating to the theme of the year’s Assembly were presented at the event.
At the end of the proceedings the following were the key points of the various presentations made at the assembly.
1. The newly inducted members of the profession were enjoined to embrace professionalism because of its capability of providing the required professional attitude in IT profession.
2. Council seeks to situate Information Technology as the centre of development in Nigeria.
3. The Federal Government’s efforts at promoting ICT in Nigeria which led to the issuance of the Executive Orders 003 in May, 2017 on the support for Local Content in the public procurement by Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria and Executive Order 005 on Planning and Execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in contracts and science, Engineering and Technology that was signed February 2018.
4. Council of CPN should come up with policies that would complement efforts of the Federal Government in promoting ICT practice in Nigeria.
5. Council has developed various initiatives that are aimed at promoting professionalism among IT practitioners.
6. The Federal Ministry of Education(FME) is supporting and promoting ICT by making ICT a critical element inthe attainment of qualitative education in its Ministerial Strategy Plan for 2016-2019.
7. The Federal Ministry of Education (FME) has established ICT Department in the ministry to drive the delivery of technology innovation solutions and support services within the Ministry and to serve as an ICT co-ordination resource for the education sector at large;
8. The FME has developed and is promoting the use of National Policy on ICT in education, the provision of ICT infrastructure and services for teaching, learning and research.
9. The ministry has introduced e-learning and use of ICT in open and distance education amongst others
10. The Assembly was enjoined to develop strategies and framework that will ensure collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education and other relevant agencies to tackle several challenges facing IT practice and the IT industry at large.
11.There is inadequate and inconsistent IT structure in Nigeria.
12. There is lack of trust and inconsistency in IT space in the country.
13.No sector of the economy can flourish without Information Technology.
14. There is need to harness the political strength of NITDA and professional strength of CPN for the development of IT industry in Nigeria.
15. There is need for the harmonisation of the national identity systems for national security.
16. Opportunities abound in IT industry in Nigeria.
17. IT creates job and generates revenue.
18. There is need to identify which IT skills are, and will be most important to businesses.
19. There need to align IT work skills with current and future needs of employers.
20. There is need for IT practitioners to develop themselves on the job in order to continue to be relevant to the operations of their respective organizations.
21. The evolution of broadband has impacted on the ICT.
22. There is need for more investment in IT skills development to bridge the gap with foreign nations.
At the end of the presentations and discussions, the participants at the assembly resolved as follows:
1. High level professional attitude and conduct are essential to IT profession.
2.The hallmark of professionalism is training and retraining of members of the profession
3. There is need for the provision of adequate and consistent IT policy and structure in the country.
4. No sector of the economy can flourish without IT.
5. There is high demand for new IT skills and services in the IT sector.
6. The vast opportunities available in the IT industry should be harnessed by the government for job creation, security and revenue generation.
7. There should be provision for ICT based decision support system for decision making.
8. Government should support and patronize local ICTpractitioners via policy development and direct investment.
9. There is the need for the harmonization of multiple taxations across parastatals and tiers of government to promote business operations.
10. There is need for the urgent implementation of IT career structure in the civil service.
11. Digital inclusion is highly important.
12. Provision of sustainable IT policy implementation strategy in the country has become necessary.
13. The adoption of 31stMarch every year as the National IT Day in Nigeria.
The 2018 Information Technology Assembly/Annual General Meeting was a resounding success. The assurance of co-operation and assistance from Government that InformationTechnology contracts will always be awarded to qualified and registered professionals is a groundbreaking accomplishment that will promote local content andencourage professionals to do more in making sure that Individuals and corporate organizations that award Information Technology contracts get value for their money.
Allwell C. Achumba, FNCS Prof. Charles O. Uwadia, FNCS
Registrar/Secretary to Council President/Chairman-in-Council