BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR,
National Information Development Technology Development Agency [NITDA] announced on Thursday that it has through its regulatory function saved the Federal Government over N13billion by enforcing the NITDA Information Technology project clearance from Ministries, Departments and Agencies [MDAs] over the last two years.
Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, Director General of NITDA, stated this in Abuja at a media parley preparatory to eNigeria Conference and his two years anniversary in office.
Pantami revealed that the Agency has been able to cut down over-bloated budgetary allocations of MDAs to IT products through its stringent regulatory oversight on various government institutions.
He assured that the Agency would continue to eliminate waste and ensure that governance and businesses were done in the global standard of using IT for easier, faster and cheaper delivery of services for the transportation of the Nigerian economy from a natural resource-based economy to a knowledge-driven one.
Commenting on the forthcoming eNigeria Conference slated for November 5-7 in Abuja, he explained that it would be declared opened byPresident Muhammadu Buhari, while Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] would deliver the keynote address.
He noted that this year’s event with the theme, “Promoting a Digital Economy in an Era of Emerging Technologies through Effective Regulations was, “a response to the complex mix of digital opportunities and challenges driven by the increasing influence of emerging technologies on the socio-economic aspect of Nigerian society.
He noted that since the maiden edition in 2007, e-Nigeria had attracted over 25,000 participants, including local and international thought leaders from business, government and academic communities, adding that a total of 150 different speakers and discussants had presented over 100 papers while 200 local and international businesses have exhibited at e-Nigeria over the last ten years.
He said each year, the e-Nigeria conference, exhibitions and awards attract support from the highest level of political leadership.
Speaking about his achievements since assumption of office in September 26, 2016, Pantami said a strategic roadmap was developed by the Agency to refocus and address the critical areas of its mandate, adding that the roadmap was hinged on seven pillars.
He stated that the Agency has created 86 digital capacity building centres across the country to provide basic ICT facilities and internet connectivity primarily to schools and similar environments where teaching and learning take place, noting that 80 job creation centres have also been established within the timeframe.
Other achievements recorded within the two years of Pantami’s appointment include the setting up of fully functional campus wireless network connectivity, award of scholarships to 91 post-graduate students drawn from the six geo-political zones as well as promotion of indigenous software and adoption programme.
He further noted that indigenous software promotion and adoption programme was designed “to promote the adoption of indigenous software and patronage of locally developed software in the public and financial sector.”
“The programme, according to him, aimed at “ growing Nigeria software industry and build local capacity to solve the immediate challenges with locally built software,” adding that it would put to effect the recently approved Executive Orders Numbers 3 and 5.