NCS Calls for More Cybersecurity Professionals, Separate Directorate for IT

NCS Calls for More Cybersecurity Professionals, Separate Directorate for IT

Emma Okonji

Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body for all Information Technology (IT) professionals in Nigeria has stressed the need for the federal government to train more cybersecurity professionals in order to address the shortfall.

President of NCS, Prof. Adesina Sodiya, who made the call during a chat with newsmen in Lagos, also advised the federal government to create a separate directorate for all IT departments in government agencies, insisting that IT professionals should be given their rightful positions to enable them deploy the right technology solutions for national development and digital transformation.

According to Sodiya, “Nigeria needs to be proactive in the area of cybersecurity. The study carried out by NCS, shows that Nigeria lags in the area of cybersecurity and we need more cybersecurity experts in the country.

The few certified cyberseurity experts in the country are not sufficient to address the growing challenges that Nigeria faces in the area of cybersecurity. NCS had a Cybersecurity Forum and Workshop in 2022 to address some of the challenges.

From our studies, we found out that there is shortage of Cybersecurity experts in Nigeria.

“NCS is of the view that government should rehabilitate hackers and engage them meaningfully to use their digital skills to grow technology innovation in Nigeria. Again, most IT professionals are relocating from Nigeria for job security and fear of political instability in Nigeria, and they must be replaced by new crop of cybersecurity experts and the training must start now.”

While calling for a separate directorate for IT, Sodiya said: “NCS is strongly recommending that all ministries of government should have a separate directorate for IT. Most federal ministries do not have a separate directorate for IT. Most of them run their IT departments under the Ministry of Planning Research and Statistics, a development that will not promote IT growth in Nigeria.

“In 2019, there was a circular from the Head of Service, mandating all government agencies to digitize their service offerings. We carried our independent investigation and found out that the policy has not been implemented since 2019. NCS wants speedy implementation of that policy on digitization of processes and operations of government services.”

Sodiya therefore recommended that all government agencies must have a separate IT Directorate that would be supervised by IT experts. According to him, a situation where IT professionals are supervised by non-IT professionals when Nigeria is talking about digital transformation, should be discouraged.      

Addressing the issue of technology innovation, Sodiya said Nigerians must come out to support technology innovation that would drive digital transformation.  

He commended the massive support NCS is getting from the Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo-Stan Ekeh and the Chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia, in driving technology innovation among Nigerian youths. “Currently NCS has five teams that we are grooming in technology innovation and we are hoping that the solutions that will be developed from the five teams will shape the world and the Nigerian economy. The five teams have gone far in their product development and their products will be unveiled to the global market in the next three months,” Sodiya said. 

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