‘NITDA Saved Nigeria Over N24bn On IT Projects’ Clearance In 2021’

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Isa Pantami
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has revealed that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has saved the nation over N24 billion through its robust information technology (IT) projects clearance in 2021 alone.

This was contained in a memo presented by the minister during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, yesterday (March 9) in Abuja.

Reeling out achievements of the agency through its Act, signed into law in 2007 according to Section 6 which mandates the agency to serve as a clearinghouse for all IT procurement and services in the public sector, Pantami said the clearance committee in 2021 which included a total of 282 new IT applications for clearance, 258 projects were successfully cleared and a total of ₦24,403,266,842.86, estimated at 343.2 per cent increase saved for the Federal Government compared to 2020. Also, he disclosed that there was an 89.7 per cent increase in the number of cleared projects compared to what was achieved in 2020 where 136 IT projects were cleared.

“Moreso, there was also a significant increase in the use of the IT Clearance Portal in the year 2021; with a total of 248 new users from 52 Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) registered on the portal,” he said.

The minister explained this was possible because of the enactment of the Act. The Federal Government had on the 18th of April 2006, issued a circular with the number SGF/6/S.19/T/65, directing all Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) that are planning to embark on any IT project to obtain clearance from NITDA.

“By way of reinforcing the Clearing House mandate of NITDA, the Federal Government again on 31st August 2018, issued another circular with number 59736/S.2/C.II/125, reiterating the need for all FPIS and other government establishments to relate with and obtain prior approval from NITDA for the implementation of their IT projects.

“The executive directives signalled a remarkable milestone for the agency, as it turned around the prospects of the nation’s investments in IT positively and shone the torch on duplicated, vague projects and guaranteed the creation and sustainability of indigenous capacity for after-sales services,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the Implementation of Strategies for the Enhancement of the Quality of Government Digital Technology Projects and Services.

According to the minister, the approval will enable the implementation of strategies for the enforcement of IT project clearance by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), under the NITDA Act (2007).

“IT projects are the backbone for effective e-government development. Their implementation facilitates transparency, efficiency, productivity, participation, inclusiveness, cost savings and competitive advantage. These factors ultimately translate into social and economic development for any country. Therefore, our drive towards the digital economy and effective implementation of these projects is no longer a choice but a must.”

To build on the successes achieved in 2021, the agency, through the IT Projects Clearance (ITPC) committee plans to achieve at least 10 per cent increase in compliance by Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) through awareness and strengthening of the ITPC process.

Apart from looking forward to improving the functionality of the ITPC portal to increase transparency, accountability and ease submission of projects, the agency is determined to collaborate with more relevant FPIS in strengthening compliance.

With the council’s backing and approvals of key prayers captured in the memo, NITDA under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has taken a notch higher its quest of going the extra mile in achieving its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP- 2021-2024), in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a digital Nigeria.

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