NITDA begins enforcement action against defaulting MDAs on IT project clearance and local content

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has initiated enforcement action against 125 ministries, departments, agencies (MDAs) and government owned companies for violating the directive of the federal government mandating all MDAs and publicly owned companies to seek NITDA’s clearance on IT Projects before implementation and to comply with the Regulatory Framework for Promotion of Local Content in IT.

NITDA is government’s IT clearinghouse and draws its statutory powers from the NITDA Act of 2001 and series of presidential directives including the one on IT project clearance issued vide Circular with Ref No. 59736/S.2/C.II/125 on 31st August, 2018  and the one on Promotion of Local Content in IT in line with Executive Orders 003 & 005. 

The agency was further encouraged by the presidency to initiate enforcement actions against non-adhering MDAs at the just ended eNigeria conference President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated his directives that all MDAs and publicly owned companies must seek NITDA’s clearance on IT Projects before implementation.

This week, NITDA said it would be visiting the MDAs for enforcement purposes. The statement was signed by the agency’s Director General and CEO, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.

See excerpts of the statement below:

“To underscore Government’s determination at ensuring compliance to these regulatory instruments, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, in his Speech at the 12th edition of the e-Nigeria Conference, Exhibition and Awards, on Thursday 28th November, 2019, reiterated his directives given at the 2018 edition of e-Nigeria, that NITDA is to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that all government funded ICT projects are reviewed and cleared by the Agency before implementation.

“The Public may recall that NITDA had issued two regulatory instruments for the Promotion of Indigenous Content Development in ICT and the Guidelines for Clearance of Information Technology Projects by Public Institutions.  These regulatory instruments were issued pursuant to Section 6 (a) (b) (c) of the NITDA Act 2007, therefore violation of these Guidelines constitute an offence pursuant to Section 17(4) of the Act and punishable under Section 18 of the same Act. NITDA has referred this matter to the Nigerian Police Force for appropriate investigation and prosecution in line with the extant law.  Principal and relevant officers of these MDAs will be held liable for violation of these regulations in line Section 17 (3) (a).

“All erring parties are advised in their own interest to comply forthwith by submitting all projects for Clearance with NITDA and to procure IT goods and services in line with the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT.  NITDA remains resolutely committed to enforcing its guidelines and in discharging its mandate for the development of IT in Nigeria.”

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