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ICT professionals in Nigeria “snubbed” by government

Nigeria , 01 Nov 2013

ICT professionals in Nigeria “snubbed” by government

Nigerian information and communications technology (ICT) professionals have appealed to government to allow them to play a greater role in growing the economy and building the nation.

The experts have argued that successive governments have marginalised the sector, despite the fact that technology, especially with regard to mobile operators, has become a driving force and contributor behind Nigeria’s digital economy.

Nigeria has Africa’s largest mobile market with over 100 million subscriptions.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the IT professionals raised concern that while other professions have special roles in government, IT has been “snubbed”.

In his remarks at the conference, Prof. David Adewumi, president of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) said President Goodluck Jonathan's government must appropriate special roles to IT professionals so as to contribute their quota to nation building.

He said that both past and present administrations, seemingly shied away from incorporating IT professionals as part of boards and management of ministries,

“The profession and industry must be appropriately rewarded, recognised and strengthened,” Adewumi said.

“Local content needs to be enforced practically and those working and providing services in IT in Nigeria should be encouraged and supported in providing the much needed innovative solutions for job creation, security, governance, health and our country’s many issues.

“The nation is not fully harnessing the growth opportunity of the IT sector-industry, academia, profession, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. Appropriate recognition, policies and legislation still needs to be put in place. It is imperative that the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue fully faces this reality,” Adewumi said.

He said the proposed ‘National Dialogue’ in Nigeria must grasp the need to incorporate and prioritise the role of the IT sector if Nigeria was to be a key prayer and fulfill its promise in the 21st century.

Also speaking at the conference, his deputy, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu, said that the body was particularly interested in collaborating with stakeholders to embark on the promotion of IT development in Nigeria.

He noted that government and other stakeholders such as corporate bodies, academia, journalists, among others, were needed to champion the cause.

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