By Emma Okonji
The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has said the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, will not only put an end to the notoriety of SARS unit but also an opportunity to work with the Nigeria Police Force on the much-needed reform to re-orientate the police force.
It stated that the disbandment would also incentivise and discipline the Force in its function as the protector of the people while carrying out its duties with wisdom and dignity.
In a statement issued by ISPON and signed by its Admin Secretary, Mr. Paul Uzoechina, the Institute said the police force should not be an institution despised by young people or looked upon with trepidation, but with honour and respect.
According to the statement, “ISPON will work with the government and the Nigeria Police to better understand their challenges in effective policing in the digital age, which is the hope for a 21st century technology-driven economy.
The ISPON, the industry professional body for indigenous software developers and practitioners in Nigeria, has been concerned by the actions of SARS operatives, especially as the people targeted make up the largest segment of its membership in the workforce of its member companies, as well as the largest segment of the consumer base.
“The devices that are used to profile the youth as fraudsters are devices that form the basic work tools of our industry. We find it baffling and unconscionable that the young coders and creative minds we should be celebrating and encouraging are the ones that are being hounded and brutalised.
“All over the world, it is recognised that development in the 21st century is disproportionately influenced by the power of information and communication technology (ICT). The world’s greatest and most powerful countries are today, not only industrialised, but more importantly, are leaders in the development, use and commercialisation of technology.
“While the SARS operatives may see technology in terms of communications and devices like handsets, tablets and computers as tools, the reality is that it is the software that runs on these equipment that are the ‘brainboxes’ controlling and delivering the value that we derive from them. Nigeria cannot become a player in the global economy unless it accelerates the growth of the human capital and propagation of software adoption and use exponentially,” the statement said.