NITDA: 'EFCC is not investigating Agency budget' - Communication Minister

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Adebayo Shittu

The Minister of Communication has given NITDA a clean bill of health after rumours made the rounds that there is monumental corruption in the agency.

Contrary to media reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] is investigating the 2017 budget of the National Information Technology Development Agency [NITDA], the management of the agency has said it is not under investigation by the anti-graft agency.

In a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, the circulating reports have been described as false and an attempt to put the agency in a bad light.

Mrs. Umar added that the rumours that the agency is attempting to circumvent due process requirements in the implementation of the 2017 approved budget is not only false but a figment of the imagination of their detractors.

The statement further quotes the Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, lauding the prudent management of the agency resources under the leadership of its Director-General, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

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"It is essential to note that the Agency is not under any investigation under the current administration, either by EFCC or any other investigating agency," the statement began.

"The Agency under the leadership of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami only received commendation from the EFCC."  

The statement described the petitioners, Muhammad Yusuf and Rebecca Emeleogwu, purportedly representing Good Governance and Accountability Monitoring Group, as being misguided for alleging that the management of the agency has by-passed due process in the award of contracts in the 2017 budget without substantiating the allegations.

The statement noted that the agency, since assumption of office of the Dr. Pantami, has championed efforts aimed at fighting corrupt practices within and outside the agency.

Quoting the Minister while on a radio station in Ibadan on Sunday, November 5, 2017, the statement continued:

"It is on record that in this effort to ensure transparency and accountability, the current Director-General is the only Chief Executive in the history of the agency that implemented almost 100 percent of the Auditor-General for the Federation’s audit recommendations regarding financial and other irregularities in the Agency.

As a man of proven man of integrity who is in the forefront of supporting Mr. President’s fight against corruption, the Director General sought the support of anti-corruption agencies such as the EFCC and ICPC in fighting corruption in IT Procurements in Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

It may be of interest to note that officials from the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation visited the agency recently and gave an excellent commendation to the Director-General and the Management Team for their efforts at following due process as well as excellent documentation of all financial transactions," the statement noted.

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NITDA also explained that the 2017 projects are yet to be advertised and so far, no contract has been awarded within the agency because of the Director-General’s efforts at ensuring that due process is followed in the award of contracts.

NITDA, therefore, urged members of the public to disregard the allegations it said are unfounded, adding that the above facts show that what was circulated is a frantic effort of corruption fighting back.

from - Gist

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