By Ijeoma Olorunfemi
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), through its IT project clearance mandate, had assessed and cleared 62 IT related projects worth N1,168,145,213,150 from January to May.
The Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, disclosed this in a virtual meeting monitored in Abuja, organised by the agency’s subsidiary, Office for Nigerian Content (ONC) development.
Inuwa, represented by Dr Usman Gambo, Director, IT Infrastructure Solutions, said clearing of the projects was a prove that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to digitalise government services, as most of the projects were service based.
The meeting which focused on “Harnessing Indigenous Solutions for Public Sector Innovation and Digital Development”, was targeted at assessing the nation’s digital experience.
“The assessment shows that about N64,878,725,488 was generated from software products and software enabled projects.
“This has shown that more can be achieved with a deeper collaboration between the public and private sector going forward using technology as a driver for public services.
“For successful development and delivery of government digital services, it is significantly important that innovative Nigerian companies are engaged very early in the project from the conceptualisation and design stages”, he said.
He added that the effect of the pandemic on the economy, governance and public service delivery has spurred a greater urgency for the development of government digital services and digital economy for the country.
Inuwa further said that NITDA would soon issue frameworks for the development of government digital services, public-private sector partnership in its products.
According to him, there is an urgent need for government to accelerate the delivery of government digital services for the benefit of Nigerians.
The director-general said that collaborations would deepen the opportunity for learning and create domesticated solutions for societal problems.
The National Coordinator of ONC, Mr Kassim Sodangi, in his remarks said the key objective for clearing IT projects was to ensure consolidation of Federal Government’s adopted solutions.
“We want to encourage solutions beyond issuing procurement notices, adverts, while Ministries, Departments and Agencies will be able to sit down with indigenous content providers to discuss and come up with a plan or strategy to drive the development of the solution,” he said.
Sodangi added that indigenous content development and adaptation was the pillar of ONC which focused on building local capacity, adopted and deployed as central plan for the development of digital economy.
The coordinator also said that they would assess the Public Procurement Act, explore and examine the Presidential Executive Order 003 and 005 as it affects planning, execution of projects and promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, science, engineering and technology.
“These documents will form the fulcrum for discussing on what can happen and what are the opportunities in the bylaw and policy that will drive the development of co-creation and co-planning of projects.”
He urged MDAs to synergise and explore the frameworks, policy and laws available which could be incorporated in designing programmes and solutions addressing our local problems.