The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA has warned all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs as well as other government establishments on the need to seek clearance from the Agency before embarking on any Information Technology, IT project.
Director General of the agency, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said the directive was 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 in the public sector.
Pantami disclosed that the action was informed by the realization that government's investments in IT over the years do not have commensurate value proposition and as such, had failed to evolve a digitally-enabled public service.
He however, explained that the objectives of the clearance exercise are to ensure: transparency in IT procurement by MDAs and other government establishments; alignment of IT projects/investments with MDAs and other government establishments' mandates and functions as well as government IT shared vision and policy; integration of IT systems and services to save costs, promote shared services, interoperability and improve efficiency and to build indigenous capacity for after-sales-service to sustain the project beyond the initial deployment.
Other objectives include: Promotion of indigenous content and preference to indigenous companies where capacity or the product or service exists; to ensure that the technology and services being procured are suitable for the country from the point of view of security and environment, among others; realization of IT as a major driver and enabler of policies and national development plans; learning, knowledge and experience sharing on IT projects among MDAs; availability of accurate statistics on Federal Government's IT assets and Investments, which will help government make informed IT decisions.
With the proposed plan by the MDAs to spend approximately N42,560.945,191 on IT projects in the 2017 Appropriation Bill, which represents 2.1 percent of the total capital budget of N2.048 billion, he said it had become imperative for NITDA 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.
Pantami reminded all MDAs and other government establishments to ensure that their IT projects in the 2017 Appropriation Act are put forward for clearance before implementation.
He warned: "It should be noted that a breach of the provision of NITDA Act and any other directive pursuant to the Act is an offence under Section 17 and punishable under Section 18 of the Act".