By Emma Okonji
The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the appointment of Information Technology (IT) professionals into key Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ministries in order to fast-track national development, using the best ICT tools.
President of NCS, Professor Sola Aderounmu, who gave the advice, said it became necessary following plans by the president to appoint minister in September, when marking his 100 days in office.
"As the nation evaluates the first 100 days in the office, the citizens are also eagerly awaiting the announcement of the ministerial nominees as promised by the President during his State visit to the United States of America recently," Aderounmu said.
"As a professional group, we are not unaware of the clamour by Nigerians on the need to nominate men of sound pedigree and untainted integrity to serve as ministers in the current administration. We, the NCS, as a society and the umbrella body for all IT practitioners in Nigeria align ourselves with these general calls by the Nigeria populace that it cannot be business as usual. We also want to unequivocally assert that a major bane in under performance by some ministers lies in the choice of non-professionals to serve as ministers especially in some key ministries that require some level of technical expertise and understanding of the industry. We therefore call on the President that in the choice of Minister for Information Technology and Communication, consideration should be given to a professional in the field of IT who has clear understanding of the challenges of the industry and ways to move it forward for the greater good of the country," the added.
Such a person, he said, must not only be a practicing IT professional, but must also possess among other qualifications, membership of local relevant IT bodies such as Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) and NCS.
"The retrogressive culture of putting square pegs in round holes must end with this administration. Similar to what is being done in Ministries of Health and that of Justice, where a Medical personnel and a lawyer are appointed respectively, we request Mr. President to extend same to the ICT ministry," the NCS President said.
He said there was need to bring to the attention of the President that IT ministry, if well managed, is able to resolve the job crisis and further create wealth for the nation similar to the ICT revolution going on in India and the rest of Asia.