- NITDA, CPC form c’ttee to protect consumers of IT services and products
Anti-graft czar and Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Ibrahim Mustapha Magu and the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami have firmed up strategies to corrupt free IT procurement process in the public sector. Federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that flout the IT clearance law mandating the NITDA to handle the clearance of all IT procurement by MDAs will be prosecuted by the EFCC.
According to Dr Pantami, some MDAs repeatedly engage in non-sustainable IT projects as Information Technology is one of the areas repeatedly used to siphon government funds simply because of its complexity. More than N42 billion in the 2017 national budget went into IT procurement year, most them didn’t negated the IT procurement laws necessitating getting approval of the NITDA as the IT clearinghouse for the government.
But the EFCC assured the NITDA that it will have IT procurement by MDAs under its lens. Magu gave the assurance for collaboration when he led the EFCC’s management team to a working visit to NITDA’s corporate headquarters in Abuja.
While welcoming EFCC officials, Pantami said the visit was key to the development of the country, as it would strengthen the fight against corruption in the IT sub-sector and help to save funds for the government.
“Anything you do in the aspect of anti-corruption will surely lead to retaliation by perpetrators, as long as legal is made illegal and legitimate is made illegitimate, it is corruption, more effort is needed to fight such crimes. According to a slogan by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari which says “If you fight corruption, corruption will fight you back” and the EFCC is working all round to curb the menace of such act, said Pantami.
“As the IT regulatory body and also a clearinghouse for all IT projects and infrastructural development in the country, the Agency solicits EFCC’s support to enforce the IT clearance law to handle the clearance of all IT procurement by MDAs,” added Pantami.
According to Pantami, many MDAs come to NITDA to seek IT clearance for their projects and services, which the Agency has professionals and experts that to analyse the project critically to know its authenticity before embarking on such project so as to save funds for the government.
In his remarks, Magu stated that the two government organizations have a lot in common, and more need to be learned from each other. “EFCC need the support of every Nigerian in the fight against corruption for the betterment of our future generation because the Commission cannot do it alone. Corruption is the biggest problem in the country” things need to be done the right way, which will curb the menace it has brought upon our country,” he said.
Similarly, with the complaints of Nigerians on poor products and services delivery, the NITDA and Consumer Protection Council (CPC) have formed a working committee to hold providers of products and services accountable. This collaborative move was taken when the Director General CPC, Mr. Babatunde Irukera paid a courtesy visit to the Agency headquarters in Abuja.
Mr. Irukera said, “the role of NITDA in the society is to improve technology services to the people” adding that IT controls significant number of human endeavors. He said the need for a national framework to from NITDA to serve as a tool for proper discharge of their duties. Stressing that, creating standards will enable CPC full implementation. He further expressed their challenge with e-commerce as there is difficulty in dealing with cases and appeals to the Agency to host their data and transactions locally. He enjoined all OEMs to upgrade their standards and establish Service Centres in major cities for after sales services.