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NITDA bars MDAs from executing IT projects without recourse to it, invokes Act

Henceforth, any Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as other government establishments executing any Information Technology (IT) project without the full clearance from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), will be seen as criminal act.

According to the agency in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja, “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 in the public sector”.

The statement signed by the Director General/CEO of the agency, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, listed the objectives of the clearance exercise, saying it’s 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; and integration of IT systems and services to save costs, promote shared services, interoperability and improve efficiency.

Other reasons adduced by NITDA in the riot act include driving indigenous capacity for after-sales-service to sustain the project beyond the initial deployment; ensuring that the project promotes indigenous content and that preference is given to indigenous companies where capacity or the product or service exists; ensuring that the technology being implemented is up-to-date; and confirming that the technology and services being procured are suitable for the country from the point of view of security and the environment, among others.

NITDA also maintained further that the move will allow for the 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; and, maintain availability of accurate statistics on Federal Government’s IT assets and Investments to help government make informed IT decisions.

Business Hilights gathered that NITDA’s early warning signal stemmed from the observation that MDAs will in the 2017 budget year spend over N42.56 on IT projects, which represents 2.1 per cent of the total capital budget of N2.49 billion.

Analysts say the main target of the agency is to tame capital flights and deepen local content.

It was not clear if the idea stemmed from the recent meeting between NITDA and local Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), where issues of industry protection and associated interests were reviewed.