BusinessDay

Reps to probe MDAs US$2bn ICT expenditure

The House of Representatives on Thursday unveiled plans to investigate
the $2 billion allegedly spent by Ministries, Departments and Agencies
(MDAs) on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) annually
without commensurate results.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored
by Iboro Ekanem (PDP-Akwa Ibom) on the “need to account for funds
spent on Information and Communication Technology by Ministries,
Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

In his lead debate, Ekanem, said a recent investigation by the
National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) showed that
MDAs spend $2 billion annually on ICT projects without any concrete
results to show for such huge spending.

According to him, “the report also showed that these ICT projects were
riddled with poor conceptualization without clear sustainability
plans, thereby leading to duplication, waste, redundancy and as
conduit pipes to siphon public funds by corrupt individuals.”

While calling for the intervention of the House with the view to
ascertain the veracity of the information, the lawmaker expressed
concern that Nigeria’s financial resources is being cornered to the
benefit of few individuals with attendant damage to the nation’s
economy and reputation.

Worried that the development was capable of paving way for more
corrupt practices among MDAs using ICT platforms as a ground for
official theft, breach of trust and misappropriations, he harped on
the need for the House to exercise its statutory powers as
encapsulated in section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as
amended).

While ruling, the Speaker mandated the joint Committees on Public
Accounts and Finance to investigate the allegation and report back
within two weeks for further legislative actions.

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