NCS Cautions Against Hasty Passage of NITDA Bill – TechEconomy

Again, the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), has called on the 9th National Assembly to exercise caution, especially with regards hasty passage of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) bill.

Similarly, the umbrella body of IT practitioners in Nigeria, has appealed to the Federal Government to take steps to withdraw the Bill to ensure stakeholders’ inputs are carefully included in the provisions of the amendment Bill.

In recent times, the Nigerian public was inundated with the news about the proposed amendment to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act No 28 of 2007 alleged to be sponsored by the management of the government agency.

NITDA initially had been established through the Act of parliament as an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the primary purpose of developing the Information Technology (IT) sector of the economy.

A study of the present NITDA Act shows that it was set up as an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria directly responsible for the development of the IT space in Nigeria.

Development in this concept entails administrative provisions and implementation of IT systems and infrastructures.

While achieving this, the Act requested NITDA to involve other relevant stakeholders in the common objective of acquiring standardization for the IT space and enhancing positive developments in the IT ecosystem.

Thus, IT professionals under the aegis of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) said that NITDA is believed to remain a government agency creating synergies and collaborations among other stakeholders in the development of IT sector in Nigeria.

But many stakeholders feel that this is not to be as they are alleging that the intention of NITDA is to arrogate all policies, controls, deployments and regulations in the IT sector to itself.

This assertion is corroborated with this recent pronouncement to amend the Act establishing NITDA without notifying other relevant parties in the profession with a singular aim of becoming the only entity of government to develop, moderate, deploy, control and even regulate the practice of IT in Nigeria”,

– Professor Adesina Sodiya, President of NCS said during a media chat

He told newsmen that the Bill currently in the National Assembly was hurriedly put together by vested interests.

“Unfortunately, we got to know from the social media that the bill was being proposed and it had gotten to the advanced stage by the time we got our information.

“We saw that the NITDA bill was not good for us as a nation, we called on NITDA to arrange for stakeholders meeting.

“The meeting was held in some cities, but all our inputs as stakeholders were not considered. We have asked questions if the new bill is for all of us as we are all part of government.

“Even the operators in the digital space must make contributions but we discovered our position was not considered by NITDA,” Sodiya said.

He said there was public hearing about two weeks ago on the matter, saying what the social media said concerning the bill remained the same.

Sodiya said even if the bill was to be upgraded, there was need to consider all stakeholders.

He noted with concern that the bill, if passed into law, would lead to multiple regulations for telecom operators and other service providers in the ICT sector.

Sodiya urged NITDA to focus on its core mandate of Information Technology development in Nigeria.

He said having NITDA as another regulator in the telecom sector would send wrong signals to investors as they would be subjected to multiple regulations and fees if they invest in the industry.

“As the agency of the Federal Government responsible for developing Information Technology in Nigeria, NITDA is empowered by its enabling Act to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardisation, application, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of ICT practices, activities and systems in Nigeria,” the NCS President added.



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