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IT projects clearance process for MDAs now automated -NITDA

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that it has automated the IT projects clearing process for government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as other government owned companies.

The agency, in a statement on Wednesday signed by Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General of NITDA said the automated process will help to fast-track waiting time for which MDAs could get approval for their IT Projects before they commence execution of such projects. The statement stressed further that the clearance process will help to prevent mismanagement of public funds and reduce incidences of corruption associated with IT public procurement.

 

Read the full statement below:

The management of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would like to bring to the attention of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Government owned companies, other government establishments and the general public that,  its efforts at streamlining as well as fast-tracking the process of the IT Projects Clearing House mandate, has fully automated the process.

The Agency, in line with its mandate to regulate the practice of Information Technology (IT) in the public sector, issued statements in November 2016 calling on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other establishments of the Federal Government to submit for clearance IT Projects to be executed before commencement of such projects.

The clearance process is designed to, among others:

  • track Government spending in IT and ensure synergy in National investments;
  • ensure the availability of accurate statistics on Government’s IT assets and Investments to help government make informed IT decisions;
  • prevent mismanagement of public funds and development of projects in silos where significant resources can be integrated to save costs, promote shared services, interoperability and improve efficiency; and
  • ensure that the technology being implemented is up to date and suitable for the country from the point of view of security and the environment.

The IT Projects Clearance regulation is designed to ensure that IT projects are properly conceptualized and executed in line with global best practices. Furthermore, it is designed to support Mr President’s fight against corruption by curbing the wastages and mismanagement of public funds on frivolous IT projects. The unanimous verdict of MDAs and other Federal Public Institutions that have gone through the process is that, in addition to compliance with Federal Government directives, it is worthwhile and value adding. Furthermore, the process facilitated a saving of over 13 billion naira to the Federal Government.

The automation of the process enhances transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in the process of obtaining clearance. Henceforth, MDAs, Government owned companies and other Federal Public Institutions are expected to submit their projects via the IT Projects Clearance portal: https://clearance.nitda.gov.ng/

It may be recalled that a Federal Government Circular 59736/S.2C.II/125 of 31st August, 2018 and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, mandates all MDAs to submit their IT Projects for clearance by NITDA. It went further to state that Government Agencies should ensure “…strict compliance as future non-compliance will be considered a violation, which will be appropriately sanctioned….”

Furthermore, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, during the 2018 edition of the e-Nigeria International Conference and Exhibition in November, directed that “…Defaulters of IT Clearance among the public establishments are to be reported to government….”

MDAs, all Government owned companies and other Federal Public Institutions are therefore advised to comply with these directives as non-compliance constitutes a breach of the Agency’s regulations and is considered a criminal offence, punishable under the NITDA Act 2007. Further information can be found on the Agency’s website: www.nitda.gov.ng

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is a Federal Government Agency established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a, b & c) of the Act mandates NITDA 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; provide guidelines to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure for information technology and systems application and development in Nigeria for public and private sectors, urban-rural development, the economy and the government; and render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors public including introducing appropriate information technology legislations.

 

Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, MCPN

Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency

Corporate Headquarters, Abuja

2nd January, 2019

 

 

 

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THE NATION

Enugu State Gaming Commission commences enforcement of Signage and Good-Cause fee

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In compliance with the established regulations and rules that govern the activities of the gaming, betting, lotto and pool sector in Enugu state, the regulatory agency in the state has finalized arrangements to commence the full implementation of the rules on identification and operations in the sector in all the local governments of the state.

The agency, Enugu State Gaming and Lotto Commission (ESGC) made this pronouncement penultimate week in a message from the office of the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Francis Nwankwo, where he reiterated the commitment of the Commission in ensuring that all laid down rules of the agency is carried out to the letter. His words: “on the orders of the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in pursuant to the Gaming and Lotto laws of Enugu State, it is now mandatory that all Gaming (Lotto, Sports Betting, Raffle and Pool staking) outlets in the state must adhere to all the rules and regulations of the laws guiding the commission”.

According to him, some of these conditions include the following:

(1) All Gaming merchant locations MUST be identified with an ESGC approval outdoor signage bearing their allocated Serial Identification Number and must be displayed within the proximity of the said shop. This signage MUST be obtained from the offices of ESGC, and it is at the cost of N12,500.00(twelve thousand five naira only)

(2) All Gaming outlets MUST NOT be located within visible distance from ANY primary or secondary school in the State.

(3) All mandatory Good-Cause fees as stipulated in the Enugu State Gaming Laws MUST be settled within the said period.

(4) All gaming outlets MUST NOT entertain anyone below the age of 18yrs.

 

Mr. Nwankwo explained that this enforcement exercise, which will take off simultaneously in all 17 local government areas of the state, was earlier scheduled to commence on the 28th of Febuary, but postponed as a result of the elections. He explained that, “we had earlier informed all gaming outfits operating in Enugu State, to regularize their operations since November 2018, and followed it up with massive publicity on radio and other media. “We are embarking on this enforcement drive to show that we have the capacity to enforce the gaming regulations in the state” he said.

The Enugu State gaming commission, which currently uses state-of-the-art technology platform from CWG Plc to power its operations, alsoreiterated the fact that failure to adhere to any or all of the above-mentioned regulations will be met with outright sealing of the said offending outlet or total ban of the brand in Enugu State. The exercise commences on the 18th of March 2019.

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Nigerian passenger dies on Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Lagos

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A Nigerian passenger travelling on Delta Air Lines Flight DL54 from Atlanta, USA was on Monday afternoon found unresponsive before landing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA).

The 54-year-old (names withheld), who was ill before boarding the flight, died three minutes before the aircraft touched down at the airport.

Spokesperson for the MMIA Police Command, Lagos, DSP Joseph Alabi, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Mr Alabi said the command was notified of the development after the aircraft landed at the airport by the airline officials.

Delta Air Lines also confirmed the development in a statement issued by its media consultant, Mohammed Abdullahi.

“A passenger on Delta Flight DL54 travelling from Atlanta to Lagos today (March 11), was found unresponsive before landing.

“Local medical professionals met the plane upon arrival and confirmed the passenger had sadly passed away.

“Delta extends its deepest condolences to the family at this sad time. As a matter of passenger privacy, Delta will not release additional information,” the airline said.

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Okupe received N702m from ONSA for doing nothing –Witness

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday narrated to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, how former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, allegedly collected the sum of N702m from the Office of the National Security Adviser for doing nothing.

Okupe was arraigned on a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702m.

The first prosecution witness, Osas Azonabor, an operative of the commission, while being led in evidence by the EFCC Counsel, Ibrahim Audu, told the court that sometime in 2016, the agency got an intelligence report that some individuals were paid by the ONSA for doing nothing.

He said when investigations began, it was discovered that the first defendant, Okupe, was one of the beneficiaries.

Azonabor told the court that the EFCC wrote to the ONSA, demanding the vouchers of the payments made to Okupe.

According to him, after analysing the payment vouchers, it was realised that the sum of N50m was paid into Okupe’s account, as stated in a voucher dated April 8, 2014.

He also said another cash payment of N6m was found to have been made to Okupe on April 2, 2014, adding that there were series of payments in multiples of N10m made to the defendant between 2012 and 2014.

The witness further told the court that EFCC’s investigation found that N50m was paid into the Zenith Bank account of Value Trust Investment Ltd, a company in which Okupe is a director.  He added that another N35m was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nig. Ltd. to which Okupe is a signatory.

Azonabor said, “Okupe said he was paid N10m monthly for 24 months by ONSA and the money was reduced to N5m monthly from January 2015 to May 2015.

“He said the money was for special services. When asked to explain what he meant by ‘special services’, he said that part of the money was used to sponsor ‘Insight’, a programme aired on NTA.”

The witness explained that when a letter was written to NTA to confirm the authenticity of the document that emanated from the station, it said the programme was aired free-of-charge.

The EFCC operative further informed the court that Okupe claimed that part of the money collected from ONSA was used to pay workers. “But when asked to show proof of payment, he simply tendered a list of names on a piece of paper.

“There was no payment voucher, receipt or pay slip to show evidence of payment and when we asked him to produce the staff he paid to, he couldn’t produce any”, Azonabor said.

The acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, in a statement, said that the Corporate Affairs Commission documents of the Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abraham Telecoms Nig Ltd, and a letter of response from ONSA to the EFCC Acting Chairman and statements of the defendants were all admitted in evidence.

The Judge adjourned the case to February 28 (today) for cross examination and presentation of other witnesses.

-PUNCH

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