NITDA seeks proper regulation of ICT in MDAs to curb corruption, insecurity
Nigeria spends $2b yearly on technology projects
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has charged the Federal Government to take advantage of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve security and tackle corruption in the country.
It disclosed that government spends about $2 billion on information technology projects yearly in the country.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja during a sensitisation workshop and stakeholders engagement on Information Technology (IT) projects clearance portal, Director General of NITDA, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, urged proper regulation of the ICT sector to enable the country benefit maximally from the full potential of ICT.
He said: “The apparent disparity between increasing budgetary allocation and expenditures on IT projects and services and the insignificant increase in automation of public services call for concern. The need for proper co-ordination can, therefore, not be over-emphasised.
“A major step towards address this properly is the IT Projects Clearance initiative in MDAs. Our initial findings showed that most IT projects were riddled with several challenges.”
Pantami noted that the agency would ensure effective ICT deployment that met minimum global standards and ensure value for money in ICT projects in all MDAs.
He added that most of the challenges bothered on conceptualisation and planning of poorly executed projects and those without clear sustainability plans.
According to him, many IT projects were being done in silos, thereby leading to duplication, waste and redundancies, MDAs were embarking on projects that sounded good based on contractor’s pitch rather than expressed need and priorities of the MDAs and the fact that IT was increasingly becoming a conduit pipe to siphon public resources.
He said NITDA’s plan was to automate the IT clearance process to make it more robust and efficient.
“The IT Clearance Portal is a state-of-the-art website with intelligent analytics capability that would make the clearance process more evidence based and transparent.
“I implore you to support NITDA as we strive to make IT procurement more value-added to all Nigerians.”
He disclosed that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had not only supported the plan, but had also directed that IT projects under his purview should have NITDA clearance before implementation.
“The validation we have received from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and BPP, among others that have undergone the clearance process has reassured us that the right steps were being taken to address the challenges in the sector and public sector investments in IT,” he stated.
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