NITDA laments poor response to IT usage by government agencies

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THE National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has lamented the low compliance by government ministries and agencies, with modern technology. 

NITDA, the government agency responsible for formulating and supervising government’s IT policies has faulted government institutions for underutilising enterprise technology. 

The agency revealed that a mere 4.7 per cent of federal institutions use IT effectively while about 66 per cent are at the “emerging stage” of utilisation, where they maintain only “websites offering basic information online.”

Meanwhile, the Director General of NITDA, Isa Pantami, hopes that the presentation, Thursday, of the Nigerian Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA) framework to stakeholders, will change the present state of affairs.

He argued that “public institutions must be managed efficiently to ensure resources, including IT, are maximized to create value for stakeholders given the prevailing political, legal and administrative contexts.”

The agency’s director of e-Government Development and Regulation, Vincent Olatunji, admitted the improvement in IT systems of some public institutions despite prevailing challenges.

The challenges include inefficient IT environment, high cost of IT investments poor sustainability of IT projects by host institutions, poor interoperability of IT systems, poor information sharing across agencies, maintenance of unnecessary multiple sites and unstandardized communication channels.

Accordingly to Olatunji, noted further that, ICT adoption and implementation in Nigeria ordinarily faces challenges that range from inadequate basic infrastructure such as electricity, broadband and other digital technologies to insufficient human capital and the required skills in the public sector effectively implement and utilise ICT solutions.

He said: “We also have unfriendly and weak institutions, inadequacy of finance for ICT projects as a result of competing demands and inability to properly align government businesses and ICT deployment, among others.”

Pantami maintained that the implication of the challenges on the sector is the inability of public institutions to fully translate national or organisational visions, policies and programmes into effective enterprise change and add value.

“This has prevented IT, to some extent, from becoming an asset shaping strategic future opportunities of public institutions and the government as a whole,” he said.

Certain areas in which the adoption of ICT platforms have had a huge impact  include the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), Government Information Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), Bank Verification Number (BVN), e-Taxation, e-Passport and e-Wallet system for farmers.

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