Nigerian Ministries, Agencies and Departments, MDAs, waste an estimated N37.8 billion due to bogus and failed Information Technology projects, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Isa Pantami, said.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, GITEX, Technology Week Dubai, United Arabs Emirate, Mr Pantami said 90 per cent of the MDAs IT projects fail, with the remaining 10 per cent not delivering value for money for the government.
He expressed disappointment at how MDAs now see IT projects inclusion in their annual budgets as a way to steal public funds.
In the 2017 budget, it was gathered that MDAs IT budgets stand at N42 billion.
“Most agencies of government now see IT projects as the easiest way to steal government money. About 90 per cent of MDAs’ IT projects fail annually while the remaining 10 said to be successfully implemented does not deliver any value for money for the government.
Mr Pantami said since the law establishing NITDA empowers it to screen IT projects of government agencies, NITDA is closely working with the EFCC and other agencies to ensure compliance with the provision.
“It is the regulation; it is not a new policy. It has been there in the Act that establishes NITDA that we should be the clearing house for all IT projects in the country.
“It is just that we are now taking this very seriously in terms of enforcement.
“Recently, we saved the government N500 million from screening just a single project which an MDA wanted to embark upon.
“This is just a single projects. The said agency could have multiple projects and when you now look at the same scenario with other hundreds of MDAs, you can have an idea of how much government is losing to such frivolous IT projects. We now screen IT projects based on merits.
“Also, another agency has been budgeting for a single project consistently without anything to show for it and this runs into millions of dollars annually. This is the kind of corruption we want to check in the system,” Mr Pantami added.
Mr Pantami led the Nigerian delegation to the annual regional IT innovation conference.