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NITDA seeks strict compliance as Nigeria automates IT projects clearance to curb corruption

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Designed to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has fully automated the process for the clearance of Information Technology (IT) projects in Nigeria.

TheNewsGuru (TNG) reports Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General and CEO of NITDA made this known on Wednesday while stressing that automation of the IT Projects Clearing House mandate will serve to curb wastage and mismanagement of public funds on frivolous IT projects.

“The IT Projects Clearance regulation is designed to ensure that IT projects are properly conceptualized and executed in line with global best practices. Furthermore, it is designed to support Mr President’s fight against corruption by curbing the wastages and mismanagement of public funds on frivolous IT projects,” said the NITDA boss.

According to him, the clearance process is designed also to, among others: track government spending in IT and ensure synergy in national investments; ensure the availability of accurate statistics on Government’s IT assets and Investments to help government make informed IT decisions; prevent mismanagement of public funds and development of projects in silos where significant resources can be integrated to save costs, promote shared services, interoperability and improve efficiency; and ensure that the technology being implemented is up to date and suitable for the country from the point of view of security and the environment.

NITDA, in line with its mandate to regulate the practice of IT in the public sector, had in November 2016 issued statements calling on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other establishments of the federal government to submit for clearance IT Projects to be executed before commencement of such projects.

Recall also that a Federal Government Circular 59736/S.2C.II/125 of 31st August, 2018 and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, mandates all MDAs to submit their IT Projects for clearance by NITDA.

The circular went further to state that Government Agencies should ensure “…strict compliance as future non-compliance will be considered a violation, which will be appropriately sanctioned….”

Furthermore, President Buhari, during the 2018 edition of the e-Nigeria International Conference and Exhibition in November, directed that “…Defaulters of IT Clearance among the public establishments are to be reported to government….”

According to Pantami, the unanimous verdict of MDAs and other Federal Public Institutions that have gone through the process is that, in addition to compliance with Federal Government directives, it is worthwhile and value adding.

He noted that the process has facilitated a saving of over 13 billion naira to the Federal Government, and that automation of the process enhances transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in the process of obtaining clearance.

“Henceforth, MDAs, Government owned companies and other Federal Public Institutions are expected to submit their projects via the IT Projects Clearance portal.

“MDAs, all Government owned companies and other Federal Public Institutions are therefore advised to comply with these directives as non-compliance constitutes a breach of the Agency’s regulations and is considered a criminal offence, punishable under the NITDA Act 2007,” Pantami stated.

According to him, further information can be found on the agency’s website.

The NITDA is a Federal Government Agency established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.

Specifically, Section 6(a, b & c) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; provide guidelines to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure for information technology and systems application and development in Nigeria for public and private sectors, urban-rural development, the economy and the government; and render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors public including introducing appropriate information technology legislations.

 

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