By Uwa Suleiman
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has expressed the commission’s willingness to immediately comply with standards and guidelines for IT projects as set by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Mr. Magu made this known during a courtesy call on the EFCC’s headquarters in Abuja by the Management team of NITDA. The high powered delegation led by the Director General, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FBCS, took the initiative to further strengthen the existing relationship between the two organizations as well as seek the Commission’s support in carrying out its regulatory functions.
Pantami disclosed that all public offices must seek clearance from NITDA before procuring IT components to enable the Agency make an unbiased assessment of Needs, Value for money and quality. He also disclosed that the strategy would reverse the trend of using IT as a cash cow to unscrupulous public officials. He decried the practice of siphoning large sums of money from the nation’s coffers to fund dubious, duplicated IT projects by some government offices urging the commission to lend its considerable support to the Agency in its fight to end these corrupt practices plaguing the sector.
The DG NITDA however, noted that few parastatals including the FIRS and JAMB have since complied with the Agency’s directives in line with its mandate contained in a letter sent to over 250 MDAs. He notified the Commission that NITDA’s Act of 2007 empowers it to penalize defaulters by “Fine and or, up to three years imprisonment. Collaboration between our Agencies will ensure accountability and professionalism within the industry, checkmate widespread corruption, save the country billions of naira and help tremendously in developing and promoting Local Content which is the ultimate goal in technological advancement”.
“All public offices must seek clearance from NITDA before procuring IT components to enable the Agency make an unbiased assessment of Needs, Value for money and quality” – Pantami
In his response, Mr. Magu pledged that the Commission will lead by example by complying with all IT regulations as directed by NITDA. He assured the delegation of its support in implementing the rules and enforcing penalty where necessary. “We are very much willing to collaborate and cooperate with NITDA on this very important issue. This strategic partnership is timely and an indication that the current administration of NITDA is focused and determined. We will also comply immediately with all the guidelines so we can exemplify what we preach”.
A mutual decision was reached at the end of the meeting to set up a working committee comprising of representatives from both sides to ensure the smooth running of operations.
Uwa Suleiman is NITDA’s Spokesperson