By Oluwatobi Opusunju
More than 148 billion US dollars spent on ICT projects in Nigeria in 2017 have been deemed to have been wasted, according to findings published by NITDA on its Twitter page.
NITDA in recent times has been championing transparency in public sector IT procurements. The agency, government ICT clearinghouse has insisted on having fuller control in how public sector IT projects are awarded and executed.
“Our investigation into last year’s Appropriation Bill disclosed that over 148 Billion Dollars was spent on ICT projects in Nigeria without any corresponding return on investments,” the tweet reads.
Although, there are directives mandating Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) to seek clearance of all IT projects from NITDA before execution or procurement, but indications show that the government institutions have largely ignored the provisions contained in the law due to lack of a stern legal framework to make them conform to the guidelines.
Our investigation into last year's Appropriation Bill disclosed that over 148 Billion Dollars was spent on ICT projects in Nigeria without any corresponding return on investments. @DrIsaPantami pic.twitter.com/9ePN5eRTPB
— NITDA NIGERIA (@nitdanigeria) March 19, 2018
This, however, further reiterates the exigency of NITDA’s position to enforce strict compliance to the recent ‘Presidential Executive Order 5 for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology’ and other directives by MDAs as well as other government establishments, so as to save billions of government monies being squandered on public sector IT projects in line with the current administration’s agenda on accountable, transparent, efficient and effective public spending.
The NITDA through its intervention helped the federal government save about three billion naira on a single cleared IT Project of a federal agency in 2017. But the agency wants to have fuller control to be able to exercise its mandates in ensuring accountability and transparency within the public sector.
The NITDA is an Agency under the Federal Ministry of Communications. The Agency was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.
Specifically, the 2007 National Information Technology Development Act mandates it to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices activities and systems in Nigeria.