By Emma Okonji

Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), the government agency charged with the responsibility of regulation, control and supervision of the computing profession and practice in Nigeria, has raised the alarm that the federal government is losing  as much as  N2 billion annually to unregistered Information Technology (IT) practitioners across the country.

The President and Chairman of Council of CPN, Prof. Vincent Asor, who raised the alarm at a press conference to announce the forthcoming 2017 IT Professionals’ Assembly, being organised by CPN in Abuja from  June 28 to June  29 in Abuja, said the loss remained monumental to the federal government.

He said the loss could be averted  should government gives directive to all IT practitioners within government agencies and to those that execute different technology projects for government.

According to him, Nigeria has a minimum of 300,000 IT practices within and outside government circles, and the annual registration fee for all practitioners is N6,500, amounting to about N2 billion.

“What government should do is to give strong directive to all IT practitioners in the country to register with CPN, and ensure that they get the CPN certificate of registration before having any dealings with government,” Asor said.

He further explained that enforcement would help in eradicating quacks in the system, which he said, constituted nuisance in the computing profession.

Addressing the issue of  low  IT skills, Asor said CPN had, through its mentorship and monitoring programmes, was able to reduce the IT skills gap in the country. He, however, said the gap still exists in professionalism and efficiency in IT skills, aside the general IT skills knowledge that has greatly improved in the country.

Giving insight into the expectations of the 2017 IT Professionals’ Assembly, Asor said with the theme, ‘IT for Good Governance And Economic Transformation”, CPN would be able to address burning issues like cyber infrastructure protection, leveraging on software to achieve transparency, trust and good governance, smarter environment with Internet of Things, fighting corruption with emerging technologies, among others.

CPN Registrar, Mr. Allwell Achumba, said the practice of computing and computer processes without due registration with CPN, would amount to illegality and must be stopped. He said CPN would continue to address the issue of quackery in the IT profession and had commenced collaboration with most tertiary institutions to register students that graduated from computer science department and IT related courses.