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FG approved N152bn IT projects in 12 months, says minister

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Patami, has disclosed that the National Information Technology Development Agency approved 499 Information Technology projects worth N152billion in 2021.

The minister disclosed this at the closing of the 2021 service-wide capacity building programme on e-government in Abuja on Tuesday.

The NITDA serves as the clearinghouse for IT projects in Nigeria, as it has been mandated to clear all IT projects in line with the policy objectives of the Federal Government to maximise transparency and accountability in the carrying out IT projects by public institutions.

The Federal Government had issued a circular in 2006 directing all public institutions planning to embark on any IT project to obtain clearance from NITDA.

According to the minister, the projects cleared in 2021, which are worth N152bn, exceed the N9bn worth of projects cleared in 2019.

This, he said, showed the government’s commitment to spending on digitalisation.

He said, “To show to us the level of the implementation of the government’s digital services in the country, from January to December 2021, NITDA, on behalf of the government, has approved the execution of 499 projects. However, the approved projects include the backlog of 2020 and 2019.

“In 2021, the approval given by NITDA for the institutions could implement according to their projects is about N152bn. If you compare this with 2019, it was only N9bn. This is to show us that government has been spending for the digitalisation of government services.”

The minister also disclosed that the Federal Government had approved 16 national policies for the ICT digital economy.

The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, who also spoke at the event, said the Federal Government had trained 1376 civil servants from 48 ministries, departments and agencies between November 2020 and December 2021 in the use of ICT.

Meanwhile, Pantami had during the event also said that Nigeria would have the highest number of subscribers of the fifth generation technology in Africa by the end of 2022.

He said, “If you look at our ranking, Nigeria has the biggest digital economy in Africa. Nigeria has the biggest ICT sector in Africa. Nigeria has the highest number of phone users in Africa. Nigeria has the highest number of internet subscribers in Africa.

“Now, the Federal Government has approved the national policy for the fifth generation for the Nigeria digital economy. By the end of 2022, I do hope that we will have the highest subscribers of 5G in Africa.”

The minister also disclosed that government hopes to have a paperless system by 2030.

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