The past presidents of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), on Tuesday in Lagos, tasked the incoming National Executive Council (NEC) of the society on the need to strengthen Information Technology (IT) advocacy and local content development, which they described as key to the growth of the computing profession and for the national development of the country.
They gave the advice during the official handing over of the mantle of leadership to the new NEC in Lagos, following a successful election during this year’s international conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM), which held in Gombe last month.
The immediate past president, Professor Adesola Aderounmu, who handed over to Prof. Adesina Simon Sodiya, stressed the need for full advocacy on IT policy formulation and implementation by government.
“The new NEC should be able to engage government in the right IT policy implementation that will help the country to grow, especially in the area of local content policy implementation.
“Local content policy implementation is key and if we do not get it right, there will be a lot of challenges for the country.
“We started advocacy in the area of local content during my two terms tenure of four years but not much was achieved in the area of local content development and implementation. We need the right IT policy that will drive local content in the country. By local content, I mean indigenous software. If we are encouraged to develop local content in the area of software development, it will go a long way to boost employment in the country,” Aderounmu advised.
The new INEC of NCS also need to focus on incubation centres that will provide the enabling environment, which will address the challenge of using IT to address national issues.
“In the last three years, we have added over 2,500 members to NCS and I want the new INEC to continue in the membership drive,” Aderounmu added.
Other past presidents like Alhaji Ladi Ogunye, Dr. Chris Nwannenna and Prof. Charles Uwadia, spoke on the collaboration and the need to use technology to drive processes like meetings and elections.
Responding to the advice from his predecessors, Sodiya promised to even go beyond the advice and tasks, with a promise to carry out advocacy on the need for government agencies to drive governance with IT.
“We have identified some government agencies that are not IT complaint and we are ready to take them up on IT governance.
“I work in an academic environment, a university to be precise, and every five years government brings assert declaration forms for us to fill and we kept filling the same form. If government is serious about fighting corruption, then it should automate most of its processes especially the assert declaration form filling.
“We cannot develop as a nation if government processes are not automated, and to achieve this, government must deploy IT in governance to boost efficiency and productivity,” Sodiya said.
“At the NCS, we will ensure we give direction to government and also ensure that proper implementation is carried out in the area of using IT to drive governance,” Sodiya added.
According to him, “IT Policy implementation is key to us as a nation and we have committees addressing the issue of IT policy and one of them is the ICT4Development Committee.
“With the committee, we intend to put together a roadmap for IT adoption and development in Nigeria. NITDA is doing a lot in IT policy implementation and we will continue to assist in ensuring that the right IT Policy is formulated and implemented.”
He explained that he decided to run for the position of NCS President because he wanted to serve his people and make some positive changes.
“I have plan to strengthen members of our society and bring all members on the NCS platform. I also want to rebrand NCS and make the necessary changes that will reposition NCS as a computer society,” Sodiya said.