NITDA Denies Being Under EFCC Investigation

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Emma Okonji

The Management of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has debunked claims making the rounds that the agency is under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It was alleged that the agency was attempting to circumvent due process requirements in the implementation of the 2017 approved Budget. Director General of the agency, Dr. Ibrahim Pantami has refuted as the allegation as untrue.

“It is essential to state that NITDA is not under any investigation under current administration, either by EFCC or any other investigating agency. The statement credited to the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, during an interview with Fresh FM Ibadan on Sunday, November 5, 2017 is not true. The agency under the leadership of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, only received commendation from the EFCC,” according to a statement signed by the Head Corporate Affairs and External Relations at NITDA, Mrs. Hadiza Umar.

The petitioners, Muhammad Yusuf and Rebecca Emeleogwu, representing Good Governance and Accountability Monitoring Group, had alleged that the management of the agency has by-passed due process in the award of contracts in the 2017 budget.

“While the details of the violations were not substantiated, we write to categorically deny these allegations. The agency, since assumption of office of the current Director General/CEO, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has been making serious efforts at fighting corrupt practices within and outside the agency, Umar said.

According to her, “It is on record that in this effort to ensure transparency and accountability, the current Director-General is the only Chief Executive in history of the Agency that implemented almost 100 per cent of the Auditor-General for the federation’s audit recommendations regarding financial and other irregularities in the Agency.

“As a man of proven integrity who is in the forefront of supporting Mr. President’s fight against corruption, the Director General sought the support of anti-corruption Agencies such as the EFCC and ICPC in fighting corruption in IT Procurements in Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
“It may be of interest to note that officials from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation visited the Agency recently and gave an excellent commendation to the Director General and the Management Team for their efforts at following due process as well as excellent documentation of all financial transactions.

“It is on record that the 2017 projects are yet to be advertised and so far no contract has been awarded in the Agency because of the Director-General’s efforts at ensuring that due process is followed in the award of contracts.”
NITDA called on the general public to disregard the purported investigation story that was circulated, insisting that the management is willing to challenge them to court for character assassination.