THE Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) yesterday raised objections to some provision of the bill seeking to repeal the National Information Development Agency Act, No 28, 2007.
A copy of the proposed law seen by our correspondent seems to have re-awakened the quest by NITDA, then under the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ibrahim Pantami, to usurp the powers of NCS to register information technology (IT) practitioners in the country.
This attempt was resisted by the NCS then while Pantami seemed to have acceded to the group’s right to register IT, professionals.
Specifically, in Part V of the bill under Licensing and Authorisations, Section 20: Requirements for Licences, Registrations and Authorisations, stated that: (1) the Agency shall by Regulation issue licenses and authorizations for operators in the information technology and digital economy sector, and such regulation shall provide for licensing and authorization criteria including renewal, suspension, and revocation conditions to promote free-market operation and competition, among others; (2) the agency shall determine and register operators in the information technology and digital economy sector. Such register shall be published; (3) any person or body corporate who operates an information technology or digital economy service, product or platform contrary to the provisions of this Act commits an offence
Reacting to the proposal, NCS President, Prof Adesina Sodiya, expressed dismay over the provisions of the document.
He said as a major stakeholder in the nation’s ICT industry, the body was not carried along in the drafting of the Bill.
In the light of this development, Sodiya said NCS will write an official letter requesting for the draft of the proposed amendment after which it will set up a committee to review the proposed law.
Part IV of the proposed law which had Financial Provisions in Section 13 with Establishment of The National Information Technology Development Fund as subject matter, also made provision for the creation of a development fund.
“There is established a Fund, which shall be known as the National Information Technology Development Agency Fund (in this Act referred to as (“the Fund”) and shall be used for the advancement of the country’s digital economy objectives and related purposes; There shall be paid and credited into the Fund,’’ it said.
A levy of one per cent of the profit before tax of companies and enterprises enumerated in the Third Schedule to this act with an annual turnover of N100,00,000 and above; b grants-in-aid and assistance from bilateral and multilateral agencies,” the Bill stated.
Sources said the Bill was drafted without the input of major stakeholders. They alleged that the document was never presented to the Board of NITDA for discussion let alone approval
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