5 July 2012

Nigeria: ITAN Harmonises Positions, Sacks Former President

The new National Executive Council (NEC) of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) has announced the sack of Dr. Jimson Olufuye, the association's representative on the board of World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA).

President of ITAN, Mrs. Florence Seriki, who announced the sack in a statement made available to THISDAY, said the sack was part of the decision taken by its council during the recent shakeup exercise carried out by ITAN to harmonise its position and activities.

According to the statement, "ITAN NEC has announced the relieve of its immediate past president Dr. Jimson Olufuye of his position as ITAN's representative on the board of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) in a move designed to reposition ITAN, restore accountability and transparency. ITAN will therefore be represented on the WITSA's board by Mrs. Seriki or any of her representatives in her capacity as ITAN's president."

The sack of Olufuye is coming before the completion of his tenure as member of the board of WISTA by October 2012.

ITAN NEC also announced the removal of its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Olu Joseph and his new position circulated.

The new ITAN leadership, which has since clarified that the 'Association' is a Limited Liability organisation by guarantee, said it was not bound by any constitution but by the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

The shakeup exercise, according to ITAN, would put an end controversies stirred by its former executives that ITAN is an association bound to a constitution.

The new executive had since rectified and obtained the new certificate of Incorporation, C02, C07, from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registry.

The ITAN NEC accused Olufuye of illegal withdrawal from the association's account even after leaving office as President, and ordered a three-year re-audit of its account by a new auditor.

In his response, Olufuye told THISDAY that the withdrawal was healthy and far from being fraudulent as speculated by ITAN.

According to him, "At the expiration of my tenure, I had salaries and taxes to pay and I had programme to carry out, and besides I have not formerly rendered account of my stewardship as ITAN President because the new President, Mrs. Seriki, has not visited us and has not called for a meeting where the old executive will have the opportunity to handover properly."

As regards the sack, Olufuye said he had no regret what so ever if relieved of his position as Board member of WISTA, representing ITAN. "I spend my resources in representing ITAN and I am not paid for my services, because it is a voluntary job. So I have no regret for being sacked," Olufuye said.

"We have a new ITAN in place that is able to fully represent the aspirations of its members, reflect the needs of the industry and operates on open and transparent bases," said ITAN's President Mrs. Florence Seriki.

She said the harmonisation exercise was the outcome of the work of a Special Committee on Harmonisation comprising of the Presidents of NCS, ITAN, ISPON and the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN).

In line with the harmonisation exercise, ITAN said it would be holding crucial talks in Lagos tomorrow with the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, at a dinner meeting to deliberate on all Information Technology (IT) critical issues with key government officials, as they affect the sector.

Olufuye was Vice-Chairman of the WITSA before his removal by ITAN's new leadership. He sat on the board of WITSA in his capacity as the president of ITAN. The WITSA is a consortium of associations from the information technology (IT) industry around the world and it represents over 90 per cent of the world IT market, with a goal to advancing the growth and development of the IT industry.

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