By Ijeoma Olorunfemi
Abuja – The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has blamed prevalence of corruption, on resistance by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to subject its Information Technology (IT) projects for clearance.
Dr Usman Abdullahi, Director Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS) of the agency said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.
NAN reports that in April 2006, the Federal Government directed that all MDAs planning to embark on any IT project should obtain clearance from NITDA for proper guidelines on the purchase of local IT products and services.
He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was elected solely because it had the agenda to recover the economy, strengthen security and route corruption out of government system.
“Resistance is the challenge in getting the MDAs to comply with the clearance order of IT projects within the government.
“Even though we say change is constant but it is what we resist more. This administration was elected based on three pillars which are security, economy recovery and corruption eradication.
“Corruption had eaten deep into the fabric of the citizens in Nigeria and the easiest way for us, is enriching ourselves generally, is through the IT.
“IT is a language that nobody understands and if you want something small you can estimate it to millions of naira, nobody will challenge you because they do not understand it.
“To that effect, we have resistance. IT has been a source of revenue for some people to get something personally and then if you want to block that source, they will be the first to challenge it.”
According to the director, the present administration has made efforts in ensuring that it would not compromised towards fighting corruption within the government purview.
He said that the consistency of the government had diminished the resistance and corruption in the clearance of IT projects by MDAs.
“If you are going to carry out a project then you have to do the right thing. The regulation is gaining acceptance, we are not where we want to be but we are making progress.”
NAN reports that NITDA has a mandate to clear IT projects and procurement of IT products and services in MDAs for quality service delivery.