By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) skewed list of those to represent it on the board of the National Information Development Agency (NITDA) was responsible for its rejection by the Ministry of Communication, IT Edge News can report.
NITDA, in Abuja, has denied deliberately excluding members of the CPN on its board which was inaugurated in March by the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu.
From the NITDA and a senior official in the ministry of communication, IT Edge News learnt that the exclusion came from a mix-up resulting from the fact that the CPN sent a list with representatives from only the South West geopolitical zone of the country. The ministry deemed the list as not only fractional but also not a true reflection of an industry that is diverse and non-location based.
“When CPN sent the list of its representatives to the commnication minister, it shows that they were all from the south-west. So, when the list got to NITDA, we saw that the federal character quota was not observed and asked they nominate other members representing other geopolitical zones as CPN members cannot only be from one region of the country,” said NITDA’s Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations Unit, Mrs. Hadiza Umar.
“However, by the time they resent a new list, it was late and they couldn’t be inaugurated that day. So it wasn’t deliberate,” she added.
She said there were already plans to have those on the CPN’s list inaugurated on a new date to join the existing 16 board members of the NITDA.
Umar confirmed that NITDA has already received the list of new nominees from the CPN. Two of the nominees are from the south and the other two from the north to reflect the federal character principle. She also assured that the CPN has a strong relationship with the NITDA and “we have been working together in the board.”
The NITDA Act which was established in 2007 in Part II Section(C) under the Composition of the Governing Board Powers and Functions,states that “four persons to represent affiliate bodies of the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria” must be included on the governing board of the agency.
CPN is a body responsible for registering and controlling all IT practitioners in the country. The council’s affiliates include the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN).
CPN and controversy
Controversy similarly trailed the CPN and its affiliates in making the NITDA’s list when the last board was inaugurated under the former Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson.
The minister had insisted CPN played down its old members to allow younger and more dynamic members in its fold get involved in leading public policy on IT within government’s agencies such as the NITDA. Irked by a list she considered to be a recycling of industry retirees, Omobola insisted on a new list that pitted her against the CPN and its affiliates.