Emma Okonji examines the importance of the annual summit of Nigeria Information Technology Professionals in the Civil and Public Service in enhancing IT professionalism its among members

In spite of the fact that Information Technology (IT) enables efficiency in government processes, civil service workers appear to be slow in adopting technologies that are creating a lot of disruptions in the technology space. But the annual summit of Nigeria Information Technology Professionals in Civil and Public Service, which is an interest group of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) is designed to address the situation and to add value to IT professionalism.

This year’s three-day summit, which is holding in Abuja, with the theme, ‘Achieving National Economic Recovery and Growth – The Role of Information and Communications Technology’, runs from December 13-15.

Enhancing IT professionalism 

The summit, which is endorsed by NCS and Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPRN), seeks to use IT as an enabler to help government deliver value to its citizens. The platform will afford ICT professional and other critical users the opportunity to distill the role ICT in achieving and driving the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

The three-day summit agenda underpins technology in government 2017, showcasing best in class government projects and technology implementations, discussing the future of public sector service delivery and offering innovative strategies for a more effective technology enabled public sector. The summit offers value across the whole spectrum of the public sector and job titles within the policy, technology, digital, security and communications space.

Government support

Considering the importance of the summit in driving IT professionalism, the National President, Nigeria Information Technology Professionals in Civil and Public Service, Mr. Raphael Omosola (FNCS), told THISDAY that the annual summit, which seeks to build capacity among members, is gradually increasing the adoption rate of IT services among civil and public workers.

Omosola called on government at the federal, state and local levels, to provide funding for its programmes and activities, and as well release government staff to attend its training programmes and workshops.

“We are working towards ensuring that government implements career programme for IT professionalism and that IT is used to drive government business,” he said.

He is of the view that collaboration with government agency like the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the agency responsible for IT implementation in the country, will further strengthen its initiative on shared services that will benefit people in civil and public service.

Importance of the summit 

Speaking on the importance of the summit to government and members of the interest group, the president  said the summit is an avenue to showcase products and services of IT professionals in civil and public service. The summit also seeks to address anomalies in government circle, especially as it affects civil and public service workers.

He called for harmonisation and integration of data across ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs), insisting that Nigeria needs a common database that should be coordinated by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Local content 

“As interest group of NCS, we are apostle of local content advocacy, which we believe will increase GDP growth of the country. There is need for the implementation of local content law because we have the law, but implementation is an issue.

Local content development and patronage will help to diversify our energy from oil and gas to ICT,” Omosola said.

IT growth 

Expressing his views about IT growth in the country, Omosola said: “Nigeria has talented youths that are IT savvy and we are collaborating with government agency to provide funds for technology startup to develop more local apps that will address the needs of Nigerians and the government.

He spoke against quackery in the IT profession and called on government to empower CPN to regulate and eliminate quackery in the IT profession, adding that it will help drive IT growth in the country.