* Pledges to support govt with N4.5bn annually
By Emma Okonji
The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), the body responsible for the registration and monitoring of all Information Technology (IT) practitioners in the country, has called on the federal government to disengage all IT practitioners within the government circle, who are not registered with CPN.
President and Chairman of CPN, Prof. Vincent Asor, who spoke to THISDAY on the financial bankruptcy of the country as painted by the federal government, who said ‘Nigeria is broke’ blamed, the situation on monumental financial leakages in government, and promised that CPN alone could generate over N4.5 billion for government annually, if only government could summon up the courage to disengage all IT practitioners in government that are not registered with CPN.
He said the situation where IT practitioners fail to register with the council, amounts to monumental loss of revenue to government, which could be channelled to national projects, at a time when government is broke. According to him, government has no reason to be financially bankrupt, if every individual and corporate organisation pay what is due to government.
“Government is broke because there are lots of financial leakages around the government circle and government has closed its eyes to it. In the practice of computing and computational process, for instance, government is losing billions of naira to unregistered IT practitioners, whom we describe as quacks in the IT profession, yet majority of them are in the government circle. Should all quacks that are not registered and are practicing IT in Nigeria, decide to register with CPN, the council can raise over N4.5 billion for the federal government on a yearly basis,” Asor said.
Providing details on how the N4.5 billion could be raised, Asor said Nigeria has over 100,000 IT practitioners and should all of them register with CPN and pay their annual dues of N10,000 per annum, it would amount to N1 billion per annum. Again, there are over 20,000 corporate organisations practicing IT that are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and should all of them pay their supposed annual levy of N150,000, it will amount to N3 billion per annum. By the time N3 billion from corporate organisations is added to N1 billion from individual IT practitioners, it will amount to N4 billion and the additional N500, 000 could be raised by CPN from accreditation of university computer courses, as well as other charges as approved by council, yet individual IT practitioners and corporate IT practitioners have refused to register and pay their annual dues to CPN, thus robbing government of huge sum of money at a time when government is broke financially, he said.
According to him, Nigeria has over 140 registered universities and CPN is supposed to accredit these universities for them to run Information Technology courses, and the CPN Act empowers it to do so.
Each university is supposed to pay N1.1 million to CPN for accreditation in every five years, yet none is paying, amounting to monumental loss of government revenue, Asor said, adding that the CPN Act made it clear that all IT practitioners must register with CPN or risk going to jail. He however expressed worries that all manners of people are practicing IT, including quacks and they are not regulated.
Aso said CPN would embark on implementation and enforcement action with immediate effect to sanitise the IT profession.
Giving reason for the renewed implementation of the CPN Act to flush out quackery from the IT profession, CPN Registrar, Mr. Idowu Olushile, said in the past, CPN was busy sensitising all IT practitioners and corporate organisations on the need to register with CPN, and that now is the time for enforcement and implementation. “We believe we have done enough of sensitisation and awareness campaign and it is time for compliance and implementation,” Olushile said.
With the aid of the Police, we will arrest those that refuse to comply, take them to court and get them jailed. Until this is done, Nigeria will continue to experience quackery and loss of revenue in the IT profession, Asor added.
He explained that the idea to enforce registration would help monitor what IT practitioners do, in a bid to reduce cybercrimes and terrorism in the country.