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Expert warns against implementation of Oronsaye's recommendation on ICT

Published by Guardian on Thu, 12 Jul 2012


THE immediate past President of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Dr. Edet Amana, has said that the recent recommendation of the Steve Oransaye Committee, which recommended the collapse of the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) if implemented, would amount to policy summersault.The Oransaye committee had recommended that NITDA, which was created in 2001 as an agency for the development of Information Technology an enabled by an Act of Parliament in 2007, be merged into the Ministry of Communications Technology.Several industry experts and stakeholders have knocked the recommendation as lacking in vision and detrimental to the growth of the ICT sector in Nigeria. Some of the stakeholders that have the Oransaye committee recommendation include the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Computer Society.Amana who spoke during the induction of various engineers into the Nigerian Academy of Engineering at the University of Lagos recently said that the Steve Oronsaye Committee which recently recommended the collapse of some IT agencies was probably not aware of an existing Science, Technology and Innovation, STI Policy which it did not recommend for abrogation and whose objectives negate the intent of Oransaye's recommendations.According to him if the Oransanye's recommendations was adopted it would amount, at best, to a policy summersault.The objectives of STI Policy, he said, 'include the creation of mechanisms to promote, commercialise and diffuse local technologies for industrial development, as well as developing capability in STI across all to promote global competitiveness.'The STI policy prescribes a funding mechanism that involves the government, the organised private sector and international development partners. It also calls for an annual budgetary allocation to science and technology activities of at least 2.0 per cent of gross domestic product GDP over the next five years followed by a 'gradual increase to 2.5 per cent' in the next ten years.'Amana, therefore, argued that it was imperative that all technology related R & D agencies should be strengthened and tasked to deliver their mandate rather than establishing an omnibus fund for all manner of research in the name of saving the economy.Rather a separate R&D Fund for Science and Technology as provided for in the STI policy will provide the focus needed to promote technology and innovation needed for actualisation of Vision 20:20:20.
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