From: Walter Ukeagbu, Abuja
The Federal Government has been urged to jettison its reported plans to move some Agencies under the Ministry of Information and Communications to other areas. The appeal was channeled to the Federal Government through the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu.
Some Agencies alleged being considered for such removal were the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone and the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) to the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
This assertion was made during a courtesy call to the Minister by the Nigeria Computer Society, the umbrella body of all Information Technology Professionals, Stakeholders and various interest groups in Nigeria.
The President of the Nigeria Computer Society, Prof. Sola Aderounmu, who led the team which included the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Computer Society and two former presidents of the Society expressed their dissatisfaction with the move to remove some Agencies from Ministry of Communications to Ministry of Science and Technology. Prof. Aderounmu recalled that in 2011, the Federal Government agreed with the Nigeria Computer Society to retain NIGCOMSAT, NITDA and Galaxy Backbone under the Federal Ministry of Communications for sustained development and actualization of ICT objectives towards diversifying Nigeria’s economy.
Also, Prof. Aderounmu said that relocating the three agencies to the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology would set the nation about 15 years behind. He advocated for the retention of the NITDA, NIGCOMSAT, and Galaxy Backbone for better Performance, Networking, Coordination, cooperation and Collaboration in other to produce better input. The Nigeria Computer Society also called on the Federal Government to properly fund the Ministry of Communications and amend the laws governing the Agencies and the ministry accordingly.
In addition, the President of the Nigeria Computer Society Prof. Sola Aderounmu said that they have over 20,000 memberships drawn from professionals, stakeholders and interest groups in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, while thanking the visiting Nigeria Computer Society team for their nationalistic contributions, declared that the emphasis for now is to consolidate the gains already made by the ministry and its agencies towards diversifying the Nigerian economy. He used the occasion to appeal to all stakeholders on the need to show understanding with the government for the overall development of ICT, as any other move will be counter –productive and against the standard practice the world over