DG NITDA: Nigeria Spends $2bn on ICT Annually

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  • Liberian minister commends NigComSat

Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Pantami, has disclosed that the federal government spends $2 billion on ICT annually, stating the agency had saved the federal government N6b through its IT Project Clearance.

This came as the Liberian Assistant Minister of Planning in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Dominic Kwenme has described the Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NigComSat) as a great asset and pride to the African continent.

Stating this in Abuja, during the stakeholders’ workshop on “Engagement and sensitisation workshop on IT Project clearance Portal and draft guidelines”, the DG of NITDA said that the agency was engaging stakeholders to make sure that the sector is properly regulated for Nigeria to fully benefit from the potentials that ICT offers.

According to him, “NITDA has emphasised the need for the sector to be properly regulated in order for the country to effectively benefit from the full potentials offered by ICT. It may interest us that about $2billion is being expended on IT projects on annual basis in Nigeria.

‘’Accordingly, the apparent disparity between increasing budgetary allocation and expenditures on IT projects and services and the insignificant increase in automation of public services call for concern. The need for proper co-ordination can therefore not be over-emphasised. A major step at properly addressing this is the IT Projects Clearance initiative in MDAs.”

Pantami further added that their initial findings showed that many IT projects were riddled with the challenges such as IT projects was becoming a conduit pipe for siphoning huge public resources, poor conceptualisation and planning of many projects, which he stressed were done without clear sustainability plans.

“Our goal at NITDA is to use the IT Projects Clearance process to correct the ills identified above and to further entrench IT product manufacturing and services in Nigeria’’ NITDA boss further stated.

‘’I am delighted to report to this gathering that our collaboration with relevant government organisations on this initiative is already yielding positive fruits.

‘’For instance, the Office for the Auditor General of the Federation now issues audit queries to MDAs who refuse to get NITDA clearance before embarking on their IT projects while The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is also partnering with us to investigate government agencies that might be breaching the NITDA guidelines and policies.’’

In another development, the Liberian Assistant Minister of Planning in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Dominic Kwenme, has described the Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NigComSat) as a great asset and pride to the African continent.

He was quoted as stating this in Monrovia, Liberia when a delegation of NigComSat led by Mr. Samson Osagie, Executive Director Marketing and Business Development, who were there to present to the Liberian government services that NigComSat offers.

A press release made available to THISDAY and signed by Head, Public Affairs Department, NIGCOMSAT Ltd, Mr. Adamu Idris was said to have been described by the Minister as a great asset to the African continent.

“I am proud to be part of this historic meeting which is meant to drive Africa, especially the underserved countries to quickly meet up with the developed world and Nigeria is doing us proud”, the Liberian Minister was quoted as saying.

On his the country’s Minister of Education, Professor Ansu Sonii had explained to the NigComSat delegation that the government of George Mennah Weah is pro-poor and is concerned about the warfare of the people of Liberia.

Ansu said with NigComSat the country need not look elsewhere to facilitate an enduring reach that will shape its destiny and the destiny of the children.