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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has insisted that it is within its regulatory and developmental role to ensure that IT contractual practises and project delivery in the public sector are done in accordance with best practices, within acceptable standards and in the interest of the development of IT in Nigeria.
NITDA in a statement personally signed by its Director General, Dr. Isa Pantami was reacting to comments by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) advising her not to proceed with the registration of Information Technology Contractors and Service Providers as mandated by the Agency.
The Agency had earlier announced that it will commence the registration of Information Technology Contractors and Service Providers in the country.
But NITDA in the statement explained its action is backed by the laws establishing it.
“NITDA’s mandate as specifically stated in Section 6 (a, f) NITDA Act 2007, which mandates it 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; and to render advisory services on all information technology matters to the public and private sectors.
“Therefore, it is within the regulatory and developmental role of NITDA to ensure that IT contractual practises and project delivery in the public sector are done in accordance with best practices, within acceptable standards and in the interest of the development of IT in Nigeria”, the statement read in part.
It furthermore explained that the Agency, as the clearance house for IT projects of the Federal Government, has the responsibility to ensure that IT projects are executed by professional firms stressing that NITDA as a regulator will not relent in its quest to improve IT practises and expose projects that are ill conceived or poorly executed.
NITDA in the statement assured all Nigerians that it will not allow sub-standard projects in MDAs being executed by companies that have limited or no capacities.
“The registration process will therefore ensure professionalism in IT service delivery, value for national investments in IT and to weed out quacks who may seek to take advantage of public procurements for selfish interests. The process will also provide a detailed database of indigenous IT capabilities in Nigeria to guide the government in planning IT projects and for the promotion of Nigerian content through appropriate use of public sector spend in IT.
“Furthermore, the process will lead to a review of failed projects with a view at curating knowledge on factors that may have led to failure. NITDA in partnership with other relevant authorities shall take appropriate action where fraud may have led to failure.
“Already, several indigenous IT Contractors and Service Providers have commenced the process of registration with NITDA. The Agency appreciates all those that have initiated the process. It clearly shows their commitment to the growth and development of the IT sector. The Agency also appreciates Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, for his continued support and encouragement in delivering our mandate”, the statement noted.