• Tuesday, December 05, 2023
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ICT: FG saves N24b from ICT project clearance -Pantami

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The Federal Government on Wednesday said it saved N24b by following due process in the Information Technology project clearances policy in 2021.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy , Isa Pantami disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing the State House Journalists after the weekly Federal Executive Council FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Pantami disclosed that FEC also approved a new “quality assurance certificate in government’s digital services”

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), all federal public institutions, had earlier been mandated by law and through government policies, that before they embark on any information technology project, they must obtain IT Project Clearance.

He disclosed that the policy had attracted many benefits as provided for in NITDA Act 2007, Section 6, under Article A and the federal government which was re-emphasize that through a circular on 31st August 2018.

According to him, “So many federal public institutions have been complying with this and the report is very commendable.

“We presented the report before the Federal Executive Council and the report covers 1st of January, 2021 to 31st December ,2021.

“This is a copy of the report; IT Project Clearance Performance Report for Government Digital Services 2021.

“This report captures all the IT projects in the country, particularly towards our government digital services for the whole year.

“In that report, it is clearly mentioned that 282 major projects were submitted for clearance, out of this number 258 were cleared and 24 were rejected and the total amount submitted seeking permission to implement the project was over N213 billion by many federal public institutions.”

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He revealed that NITDA cleared around N154 billion, adding that “if you compute the amount submitted and the amount approved, you will discover that we are able to save more than N24 billion for the federal government of Nigeria. More than N24 billion, comparing the proposed amount and the approved amount for the implementation.

“This is part of the strategies of introducing ICT Projects Clearance; one, to save costs; two, to fight corruption and this is very important.

He revealed that the Ministry has discovered so many cases that are suspicious and we reviewed them critically, drawing the attention of institutions, where necessary.

“Sometimes some institutions were able to report it to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or any institution of government as the case may be.

“Also, part of the benefits is to ensure the security of our digital facilities because part of the clearance of any project submitted is going to be reviewed critically to ensure that the security of our country, particularly our cyberspace, is not going to be compromised.

The clearance makes sure that it is in compatibility with the Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, Nigeria eGovernment Enterprise Architecture, Nigeria eGovernment Interoperability Framework, amongst the several benefits of the clearance.

“So, after presenting the report today, the federal government of Nigeria has also approved another layer that any project that is up to N1 billion, after completing the project, that institution is mandated and directed to obtain a quality assurance certificate from the National Information Technology Development Agency.

“ We discovered that sometimes an approval or clearance could be granted in the cost of implementation, some of the specifications will be changed and if there is no quality assurance certificate, we will not be able to know whether the project is implemented according to the clearance or not.

“Secondly, it is part of building a system. Some of the stages of building a system include feasibility study, preliminary investigation, system analysis, system design, system coding, and also system implementation, and also system testing. So, it is through system testing, we will be able to certify and confirm the quality of that system, whether it’s assured or not.

“So, what is most important from today henceforth, any ICT project that is not N1 billion, after obtaining the clearance, at the end of the project, that institution is required to look for a quality assurance certificate, so that we will be able to drive the maximum benefit of that government investment.”