BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR.
National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said it has streamlined the process of procurement of Information Technology (IT) projects as it is now fully automated.
A statement on Wednesday by Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General of NITDA, explained that the automation of the process was designed to curb corruption among Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.
According to Pantami, “The management of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would like to bring to the attention of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Government owned companies, other government establishments and the general public that, its efforts at streamlining as well as fast-tracking the process of the IT Projects Clearing House mandate, has fully automated the process.
“The Agency, in line with its mandate to regulate the practice of Information Technology (IT) in the public sector, issued statements in November 2016 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.
“The clearance process is designed to track Government spending in IT and ensure synergy in National investments and ensure the availability of accurate statistics on Government’s IT assets and Investments to help government make informed IT decisions.
He noted that it was designed to “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.
“The IT Projects Clearance regulation is designed to ensure that IT projects are properly conceptualised 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.”
He explained that 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 added that the process facilitated the saving of over N13 billion to the Federal Government.
Pantami explained that the automation of the process enhances transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in the process of obtaining clearance, adding that henceforth, MDAs, Government owned companies and other Federal Public Institutions are expected to submit their projects via the IT Projects Clearance portal: https://clearance.nitda.gov.ng
It may be recalled 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.
It 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 Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, 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.”
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.