A coalition of civil society groups under the umbrella of Transparency Advocacy Initiative, has declared that transparency, accountability and due process measures at work in the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under the leadership of its new Director General, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
The Executive Director of Transparency Advocacy Initiative, Amb. Yomi David and the National Convener of Allied Civil Society Groups, Comrade Solomon Adodo in a jointly signed statement disclosed that the groups.
The groups that have maintained uninterrupted vigil in monitoring and assessing the performance of key Agencies of government particularly those identified as critical to accelerating Nigeria’s economic rejuvenation.
The statement noted that “As Nigeria seeks to make progress in the quest for economic diversification to ensure wealth generation, job creation and overall national development, one Agency that readily comes to mind as key and relevant in this quest is the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
“This much informed the decision of our Organization to beam the lens of scrutiny on the Agency.”
“After due assessment, we cannot but come to terms with the evident fact that the Agency has been effectively repositioned under the dexterous and innovative leadership of her new Director General, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami. whose sole and singular pursuit is to make NITDA a leader in information technology development that can measure up to the best global standards.”
“Our findings further revealed that transparency, accountability, fairness and due process have become the credo and watchword at NITDA.”
“The fact that the new DG of NITDA, Dr. Pantami has chosen to follow strictly and diligently in the footsteps of Mr. President is one factor that remains commendable and should be emulated by other Chief Executives of government Agencies.”
“We have also observed that Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami eschews all forms of corruption, ineptitude, lack of due process and maladministration.”
“Thus the Agency is no longer viewed as a mere administrative platform or cash cow for awarding contract, but has now been repositioned to beam her efforts on the core mandate of being a knowledge-based info-tech solution provider and strict regulator to ensure compliance with best standards.”
“Having identified the huge prospects the Agency has in terms of economic diversification, jobs creation and overall national development, the current NITDA leadership immediately set out working assiduously to ensure that local content is revved-up in the ICT sector.”
“The determined effort being made by NITDA to boost local content is a sure masterstroke that will reverse capital flight and loss of forex as this will save the nation an estimated $3.8 billion that is annually lost to importation of ICT goods services and software.”
“We therefore invite young Nigerian to reach in for their latent innovative potentials and take advantage of this expanded window opened by NITDA for jobs creation, economic empowerment and overall self-actualization.”
Youth involvement in ICT innovation is a strong catalyst for generating new jobs and NITDA under the Headship of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has opened this vista of opportunity that can be maximally explored by all.
In the recent past, fake and substandard products nearly saturated the entire ICT market and this greatly affected efficiency and productivity in virtually all sectors of the economy as these ICT products which should have enhanced productivity were no longer reliable.
“We are delighted that the current NITDA administration did not take this challenge with kid gloves, but has begun to onerously fight and reverse the ugly trend of inferior ICT products and services proliferating the Nigerian market.”
Nigeria is not a dumping ground and the best standards must be maintained.
“Therefore, the sterling efforts being emplaced for regulation of ICT products/services must be sustained.”
“NITDA’s strengthened collaboration with industry leaders, start-ups and young Nigerians fused with the call on manufacturers of ICT products and service providers (with mutually beneficial incentives) to domesticate their production has begun to yield fruits already and this goes to buttress the commitment of NITDA to lead Nigeria to the glory-lands of the info-tech world.
“Perhaps the Team spirit at work in NITDA alongside the detribalized nature of the current Director General could be adduced as one among several other reasons for the rapid rate of progress being made at the Agency in this short spate of time.”
Strict compliance to Federal Character, reward for hardwork, high premium on merit and fairness to all have been the hallmarks of administration in NITDA.
Public Office holders ought to imbibe this aspect of governance that enhances national unity. Furthermore, prudence and shrewd management of resources have also taken the front burner as the limited resources of the Agency are effectively managed to achieve the best possible results.
“One such testament of financial prudence is the recently held e-Nigeria Program in November 2016 which was adjudged a resounding success by all critical stakeholders with the input of minimal government funds.”
“The commendations showered on the Director General and his Team by the Vice President during the e-Nigeria program is a positive indicator that an effective monitoring, evaluation and commendation mechanism has been emplaced by the Buhari led government.”
The balanced manner in which the Director General has been able to tackle the employment crisis that rocked the Agency prior to his appointment is another laudable feat.
“It is on record that the Director General has explored all possible vistas to ensure that the affected individuals find respite.”
“The employees who were affected had been employed without due approvals.”
However, the Director General has frequently sought the approval of the Minister of Communications Technology in finding solutions to ease the plight of these affected individuals. Even though NITDA has not made any pensionable appointments so far, all the Staff secondments made have been in tandem with due process and with the full approval of the Minister of Communications.
“An area where the transparency efforts of the current NITDA administration are palpably felt is in the aspect of Contract awards and procurement.”
“In the few instances where contracts were awarded, they have been handled in strict adherence to due process without any form of favoritism, partiality or bias.”
“This measure has helped to ensure that the best standards are attained in projects execution at NITDA and shifted the focus away from contracts to the core productivity and regulatory objectives of the Agency.”
“At this juncture, we must commend President Muhammadu for seeking Nigeria’s best brains from all parts of the world and bringing them back home to head critical sectors of our economy that can engineer economic growth and add value to Nigeria’s quest for economic diversification.
“The appointment of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is one such practical manifestation and his impeccable achievements stand as an incontrovertible proof.”
“We call on other Chief Executive Officers of government Agencies and Public servants to borrow a leaf from the administrative lifestyle of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim and ensure the attainment of the mandate of their respective Organizations to the utmost.”
It is also imperative that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies strengthen their partnership with NITDA in the execution of their Info-tech projects to ensure premium standards are maintained and local content enhanced.
“We strongly believe that with these transparency measures and multifaceted partnerships emplaced by the Director General of NITDA, the Agency will ignite the long awaited info-tech revolution and the potentials of Nigerian youth will be translated to national productivity for the good of all.
“We invite the concerned public and the relevant bodies to support and partner with NITDA in the areas of cyber security, jobs creation, e-governance framework, and IOTs as Nigeria Marches on to occupy her prime place in the global Info-tech world”, the statement read.