Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed the appointments of new chief executives in 13 government agencies. One of these appointed officials was Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami who’ll be resuming as the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Dr. Pantami, who is currently a professor of Computer & Information Systems at the Islamic University of Madina, will be taking over from Dr. Vincent Olatunji, who resumed as the Acting DG earlier this year in January. The previous DG, Mr. Peter Jack was suspended in January over allegations of illegal employments amongst other wrong doings.
NITDA hasn’t exactly been a well-run agency over the past few years, and there’s barely any fruit to show for all of the “labour” that goes on in there. This report in Nigeria Communications Week aptly describes what NITDA has become, so I’m just going to dump a quote:
“[NITDA] is a waltzing story of failures and inadequacies unable to meet its clear mandate of fostering the development and growth of IT in Nigeria. Since its establishment in May 2001, NITDA has operated in fits and starts and abdicated its responsibilities in a country where ICT is growing at an increasing rate. Perhaps, nothing could have been more damning on NITDA as a failed agency than the recommendation that it should be scrapped by the Steven Oronsaye 2012 Committee Report on Rationalization and Harmonization of MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies).”
Apparently, there’ve been calls, from as far back as 2012, for the merging of government agencies to reduce cost of governance. The report suggested that NITDA become a department in the then Ministry of Communications Technology (it’s just “Ministry of Communications” now), and I must say I agree with that reasoning. Because I don’t know why we have so many agencies taking up space when they could just as well run as departments in Ministries.
Hopefully, Dr. Pantami will drive the change that’ll revamp NITDA and make it a body that’ll serve its true purpose (as opposed to just a figurehead parastatal). Lol. Wait, who am I kidding?