NITDA, EFCC partner to enforce IT projects clearance

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By SAMSON AKINTARO

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said it is collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) comply with the clearance of Information Technology projects procurement.

Dr Isa Pantami, Director-General of NITDA, said this in a statement signed by MrsHadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations. “In an effort to strengthen the IT Projects clearance process, Dr Isa Pantami, the Director General sought for the support of the EFCC.

“This is to sustain its fight against corrupt practices in IT procurements of Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). “Mr Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC Acting Chairman pledged the Commission’s support and indicated that they would comply with government’s directives in obtaining NITDA’s clearance for the Commission’s IT procurements and services.

“The commission fulfilled this pledge by subjecting its Information Communication Technology Security and Systems Infrastructure Upgrade project to rigorous scrutiny by NITDA’s IT Projects Clearance Committee.

“By this singular act, the EFCC has shown that it is not above the law thereby serving as an example to other government establishments,” Pantami said. He also said that other MDAs should follow suit, adding that the agency was committed to the task as the government’s clearinghouse for all IT procurement and services.

The director-general recalled that President MuhammaduBuhari had at the opening ceremony of the eNigeria 2017 Conference recently held in Abuja, called for strict compliance to the directive.

NITDA had earlier this year issued warnings to all MDAs on the need for clearance before embarking on any IT projects. This, it said became necessary as it realized that government’s investments in IT over the years were not commensurate with the value derived from such investments and had also failed to evolve a digitally-enabled public service that will advance the citizens’ yearnings of digital economy made it necessary for strategic repositioning of IT procurement in the public sector.

“The Agency’s assessment of the 2017 Appropriation Bill revealed that MDAs proposed to spend approximately Forty-Two Billion, Five Hundred and Sixty Million, Nine Hundred and Forty-Five Thousand, One Hundred and Ninety-One Naira (42,560,945,191.00) on IT projects.

This represents 2.1% of the total capital budget of Two Trillion, Forty-Eight Billion, Nine Hundred and Eighty-Nine Million, Five Hundred and Seventy-Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty-Two Naira (N2,048,989,578,222.00).

It is therefore imperative to ensure that maximum value is derived from such huge investment of public funds, especially at a time when the need for accountable, transparent, efficient and effective public spending is high on the current administration’s agenda’ the agency had noted.

establishments the need to seek clearance from the Agency before embarking on any Information Technology (IT) project. This is in line with Section 6 of the NITDA Act, 2007 as well as Service-wide Circular from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation which makes the Agency the clearing house for all IT procurement the public sector.

NITDA is an agency under the Federal Ministry of Communications charged with the responsibility to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and coordinate general IT development, regulation in the country. The agency also creates a framework for the planning, research, development, standardisation, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria.

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