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IT clearance: FG to sanction defaulting MDAs

The Federal Government has said its stance on compulsory clearance of all Information Technology (IT) projects by Ministries, Departments and Agencies remains unwavering and would not hesitate to punish any government official that fails to follow the rule. President Muhammadu Buhari who echoed this at the opening of e-Nigeria conference in Abuja, directed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to forward the list of any defaulting MDAs to the government for sanction.

The President said the essence of the IT clearance directive was to ensure that government’s ICT procurements are transparent  and are aligned with government’s IT shared  vision  and  policy. He said the policy was also aimed at saving costs through promotion of shared services and to avoid duplication, ensure interoperability of IT systems and improve efficiency across government. He added that the government through the policy would be able to enforce the patronage of indigenous companies where capacity exists and uphold the highest standards for service delivery.

“In this administration’s efforts at ensuring full realisation of these objectives, a new Circular was issued in August this year, to reiterate this directive. NITDA is expected to work with all relevant government agencies to ensure full compliance to this directive. Defaulters of  IT  Clearance  among  the  public establishment  are  to  be  reported  to  government.  We are serious about fighting corruption” President Buhari said.

Meanwhile, the President commended ICT stakeholders in the country over their efforts at forging strategic partnerships towards ensuring that Nigeria becomes an export hub for ICT hardware in Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, he  applauded NITDA’s efforts  aimed at reorganising the registration and certification process for OEMs to  ensure  adherence  to  world  class  standards  as  well  as guarantee  quality  and  durable  devices. “The  Agency  is  encouraged  to  work  with  relevant  regulatory agencies  to  ensure  strict  compliance  to  these  new regulatory instruments”.

“Furthermore, the Agency’s work on the Nigerian ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vision that focuses on the development of Digital Infrastructure, Education Reform, Skills Development and Research and Development as well as supporting the ecosystem is highly commendable. We are made to understand that the Agency worked with relevant stakeholders in developing the document. We encourage the Agency to use its regulatory instruments in ensuring full socialisation and implementation of this document

Speaking earlier in his welcome address at the conference with the theme: “Promoting Digital Economy in  an  Era  of  Disruptive  Technologies  Through   Effective Regulations”, the Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Panatami said the agency had been actively engaging all Agencies of government and have developed guidelines on  IT  Project  Clearance  for the  MDAs.   “Through  our  IT Project  Clearance  activity,  we  have  saved the government  over  13  billion Naira.  We are also being proactive, offering advisory to MDAs at the early stages of their budgeting cycle to ensure that whatever project they propose provides value for money, avoids duplication and eschews waste” he said.

Highlighting government’s efforts at boosting ICT’s contributions to the nation’s economy, Pantami noted that over the years, Nigeria has depended on natural resources for wealth but the Federal Government now has deliberate policies to wean the economy off oil and rather focus us on human resources.  “This is  why  the  Economic  Growth  and  Recovery  Plan of  the  government prioritizes human capital development. We are confident that with a critical mass of ICT savvy Nigerians we will develop the  type of digital  economy  that  can rival oil  as  the  main  stay  of  our economy” he said. Pantami added that Nigeria is also endowed  with  a ready pool of young “digital natives” that  can  support  the  process.






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