- Any MDA that introduces IT without NITDA’s clearance would be issued audit query
- MDAs use IT project to siphon public fund, auditing T projects is in accordance with the statutes
- Nigeria already gains N500 million on IT procurement through NITDA’s intervention
All IT projects executed by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government must have clearance issued by the NITDA to determine the status of their execution by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) in line with the Federal Government Circular No. SGF/6/S.19/T/65 of 18th April, 2006. This is the outcome of a meeting between the AGF, Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine and the Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami when the latter led his management team on a recent working visit to Audit House in Abuja.
MDAs have largely ignored the provision of the 2016 circular which mandates them to seek clearance from the NITDA before deploying any IT project in the country. But this would no longer happen as Ayine directed the staff of his office to henceforth request for the clearance issued by the NITDA on any IT project when auditing the accounts of MDAs.
NITDA’s visit to the AGF is in furtherance of its collaborative drive to ensure value for money on procurement of IT goods and services by in the country’s public sector.
“The Office of Auditor General of the Federation would be pleased to collaborate with NITDA in the areas of development of Standards and the Regulation of the IT industry. Any MDA that introduces IT without NITDA’s clearance should be subjected to audit query,” said Ayine.
While intimating the Auditor General on the purpose of the visit, Pantami stated that NITDA as the IT regulator is empowered by law to be the clearinghouse for any IT project in the country with objectives of reviewing, justifying, analyzing it for value for money and to ensure sustainability.
“We are here today to collaborate and seek for support when it comes to auditing IT projects of MDAs and we want your office to always request for clearance obtained from NITDA by MDAs whenever you are auditing them,” said Pantami.
He stated further that the law enables NITDA to prosecute any violator of the Act adding that attempts are ongoing to call violators to order and if they do not retrace their step. “We will be glad to press charges against them and commit them to jail terms Pantami warned.
“We need to support each other and collaborate in auditing IT projects. Most MDAs use IT project to siphon public fund and auditing the IT projects in line with the Federal Government Circular will help a lot in reducing this anathema”, added Pantami.
The NITDA boss revealed that presidency has been supportive of the Agency by redirecting MDAs to seek clearance from NITDA before embarking on any IT project. He added that recent intervention of the Federal Executive Council on a memo from one MDA on IT project has recently saved the country of N500 million.
While commending the Office Auditor General of the Federation on the audit report on the Agency, the DG assured that the report would be implemented to the latter as 90 percent of it has been implemented so far.
He said, “I am the first Chief Executive Officer of the Agency to have implemented the audit report on the Agency. We reviewed the report by constituting credible people who were not in any way indicted in the report and their recommendations have been implemented up to 90 percent. The remaining 10 per cent are those that came forth with argument which the Economic and Financial Crime Commission is handling.
The Auditor General who was elated with the NITDA’s boss for daring all odds to implement the audit report said that he has a partner in Pantami, describing him as someone who the country is yearning for. ”I am glad to hear that without being compelled, you implemented the audit recommendations. This will reinforce the auditing system and help the country in its anti corruption war, with the ultimate goals of having accountability and transparency which are pillars of good governance.”