By Emma Okonji

The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), one of the affiliate bodies of the Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), is worried about the continued absence of CPN representatives on the Board of Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), months after the inauguration of its board members, describing the situation as unconstitutional and lopsided.

While NITDA is the government agency responsible for the implementation of the country’s policies on Information Technology (IT), CPN is a government agency saddled with the responsibility of registering and controlling all IT practitioners in the country.

The NITDA Act states that four CPN representatives would be on the NITDA Board, which are selected from each affiliate member of CPN, of which ISPON is one of them.

This has been the tradition since the inception of NITDA, until this year, when the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu inaugurated the NITDA Board without CPN and its affiliate members, a situation that is giving ISPON and other affiliate members of CPN, some concerns.

Worried about the continuous absence of CPN members on NITDA Board, ISPON has called on the minister to quickly address the situation and correct the imbalance, inline with NITDA’s Act.

The former President of ISPON, James Emadoye who raised the concern during the official handing over of the administration of ISPON to the incoming President, Dr. Yele Okeremi in Lagos recently, urged the minister to revisit the inauguration and ensure that CPN members are on the Board of NITDA.

Okeremi who saw the situation as loss of permanent seats by the CPN, promised to engage the minister until the matter is resolved.

Narrating the circumstances that led to the absence of CPN members on NITDA’s Board, Emadoye said: “It is the responsibility of the minister to inaugurate members of the NITDA Board and the minister had called for the list from CPN, which was sent to him before the inauguration, but along the line NITDA instead on quota basis for the selection process and that someone from the North-west must be on the board, which negates the NITDA Act that clearly states that four professionals representing each of the geopolitical group will be nominated to the NITDA Board.

Emadoye insisted it was not proper to neglect the affiliates in the inauguration of NITDA Board and called on the minister to revisit the issue and address it amicably.

The Minister of Communications had in March this year, inaugurated a team of 16 board members that will drive the affairs of NITDA, without the four representatives from CPN.

Since then, stakeholders from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, have criticised the omission of CPN nominees, while blaming it on NITDA, whom they believed did not handle the entire process of the inauguration with the utmost national interest it deserved.

Giving reasons for the omission of CPN nominees, the Director, E-Government Development and Regulation at NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji told THISDAY that the omission of CPN nominees was as a result of a mix-up in the submission of names and that CPN has been further directed to rectify the list of its nominees, and resend same to the minister. According to Olatunji, as soon as the list is rectified and sent, the CPN members would be inaugurated into NITDA Board.