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FOR THE RECORD: Address by the D-G, NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FBCS, at the Nigerian Software Stakeholders Roundtable held In Lagos

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Opening Address by the Director General and CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FBCS, at the Nigerian Software Stakeholders Roundtable.

-Tuesday, 6 February, 2018. At the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel Lagos.

 

The Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, ably represented by …………….,

The Honourable Minister of Communications, ably represented by the Director ICT, Federal Ministry of Communications, Mrs Monilola Udoh,

Representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government here present,

Presidents of CPN, ISPON, ITAN, NIG, CCMON, ICT Loca and other groups here present,

IT enthusiast and software developers,

Gentlemen of the media,

Ladies and gentlemen,

May peace, blessings and mercy be upon you all and good morning.

 

This meeting is an important one as the Federal Government is assiduously working hard to diversify Nigeria’s national income and to harness efficiencies that will deliver better governance to Nigerians. It is clear that ICT is at the center of these efforts.  I’m delighted to note that second only to the Oil and Gas sector, ICT is at the forefront of driving a local content initiative, which is anchored on ensuring Nigeria leverages on local capacities to develop the economy, utilize national resource and create opportunities for Nigerians.

Notably, software development is a shining example of Nigeria’s capacity to effectively proffer solutions to complex problems, create opportunities and develop a pipeline of young entrepreneurs who we celebrate every day.  In administration of Government today, the effect of projects like  the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS),Integrated Payroll and Personnel Systems( IPPIS) and the Treasury Single Account  (TSA)  demonstrates how germane ICT is to a properly and efficiently run government.

The exploits of Nigerians in Financial Technology (Fintech), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools and mobile application development is acknowledged globally. Recently, an International report produced by Hackrank placed Nigeria in the top 50 software developing countries in the world.  This is notable, but clearly isn’t good enough for the effort and potential we have witnessed in the last three to five years. We can do better and should do better, this is exactly why we are gathered here.

The Executive Order 3 On Support of Local Content Procurement by the Federal Government and the Presidential Executive Order 5 for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content In Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology, issued yesterday, 5th February 2018 by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, further strengthens the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT 2013 in support of the development of indigenous software capabilities. Particularly, the recently issued Order mandates MDAs to engage professionals in planning technology projects like software development and deployment. The Order also empowers agencies like NITDA to provide comprehensive database of verifiable skills and capacities in ICT to ensure only indigenous companies are considered for procurements where capacity is available locally.

Therefore, with this opportunity and support from the current administration, we are here to discuss as a stakeholders in our country; hubs, private sector, government agencies, academia and trade groups in ICT, all vital to the development of our software industry what we must do to take advantage of these Orders as capital to grow our capabilities to service the world. Our deliberations today will set the tone for the development of a roadmap that will highlight top level activity and allocate responsibilities to all stakeholders in developing this space.

At NITDA we are committed to coordinating these efforts. We have demonstrated our willingness by enforcing the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT 2013 at all cost. Recently, we have taken severe and legal action against violators of the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT. I am happy to inform you, that we have begun to witness tremendous results in ensuring public sector patronage of local entrepreneurs. I want to commend and acknowledge the support and partnership of ISPON who have also championed efforts to ensure MDAs who have sought to patronize foreign software where local alternatives exist were unable to do so. I assure you that NITDA will do all it can within its powers to ensure no single kobo of the Federal Government will be spent on acquiring technology that local and capable alternatives exist. We have charged our local content office (ONC) to continue to be vigilant in surveillance and to be agile in driving enforcement of the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT.

I will not say more at this time, it is important that deliberations begin in earnest, I look forward to the conversations today and the collective ideas we shall share for action. Let us move our country forward.

Thank you and welcome

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THE NATION

Why DSS must obey court order, release Dasuki – APC chieftain, Orji Kalu

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A former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, has said if court has ordered the release of former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, then security agencies should comply with the order.

Kalu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Sunday.

He noted that the various tiers of government, individuals and corporate entities should have respect for the decisions of the courts.

According to Kalu, “We are making many unlawful things possible.

“If a court issues an order that Sambo Dasuki be released, it should be obeyed.

“If we Nigerians genuinely want democracy to endure, we should learn how to respect the laws of the land.

“The law of the land is our constitution and any pronouncement made by the court based on the constitution should be obeyed.’’

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Ortom: No amount of persecution will make me return to APC

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Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, says no amount of “torment or persecution” will make him reconsider his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement issued on his behalf by Terver Akase, his chief press secretary, the governor accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of being a strike squad of the ruling party.

He also alleged that the federal government had been using the anti-graft agency to “cripple governance in the state.”

“After succumbing to nationwide condemnation of its illegal freezing of Benue State Government accounts, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has resorted to yet another shameful act in its desperation to cripple governance in the state,” the statement read.

“The anti-graft agency’s latest move is the bandying of figures in national dailies claiming that such figures are those of transactions in the accounts owned by the Benue State Government.

“It released figures allegedly withdrawn from the Benue State Government accounts without disclosing the dates of the withdrawals and the period during which they were made.

“The commission has also not been able to state accounts into which such monies withdrawn were paid to prove that the funds had been diverted.

“EFCC is contented with publishing the figures without stating how impropriety has been established.

“Are government monies supposed to be kept in the accounts indefinitely without expenditure? Their objective is apparently to give Governor Samuel Ortom and his administration a bad name.

“On this score, it is clear that the EFCC has now become both a strike squad of the APC for torment, and their law court for the trial and conviction of political opponents.

“The commission may torment and persecute Governor Ortom and his subordinates on the directives of the powers that be as much as it serves their purposes, but he will neither be distracted nor reconsider his defection from APC.”

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Osinbajo berates gospel preachers for failure to preach against corruption

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Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has berated gospel preachers for failing to lend support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war by failing to preach against the scourge.

Speaking at the 30th National Biennial Conference of the Students Christian Movement (SCM) of Nigeria holding in Enugu, Osinbajo noted that preachers were preoccupied with preaching prosperity rather than righteousness.

“Very rarely do you hear our preachers talk about corruption from their pulpits. If a nation is not righteous nothing will help it.”

Osinbajo said that the problem with Nigeria was neither ethnicity nor religion but systemic corruption.He said that corruption had been so entrenched in the country that if you dare challenge it, you will be in the minority.

He, however, challenged the youths to change the narrative and make the difference by checking the impunity of those that had stolen the resources of the country.

“Our problem in this country is not ethnicity or religion; it is not about Christians or Muslims. Our problems are the same wherever you go in this country.

“The story of our country is about good and evil. It is about those that have left us in this condition by stealing our common resources. Do not let anyone deceive you.”

The acting president challenged members of SCM to ensure that the movement becomes one of the tools that will move the country forward. “You should understand that our country can be delivered by people like you.”

According to him, young Christians have special and distinct roles to play in the transformation of the country which is superior to those of other sets of people.

“All of the great nations of the world were transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not a gospel that tickles people’s imaginations or dwells on prosperity.

“It is not a gospel that fits your fancy. It is a gospel that teaches that righteousness exalts a nation.”

Osibanjo appealed to Nigerians to stand against the plundering of the nation’s resources as well as support the anti-corruption initiative of the Federal Government, irrespective of party affiliations.

Earlier in his address, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State commended the organisers of the event for a successful convention, stating that Christians needed such events in order to seek spiritual reformation and renaissance, considering the situation in the world.

He said that Christians also needed to contribute their quota toward promoting good living among Nigerians.

Ugwuanyi urged Nigerians to continue to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and for the peace of the nation.

In an address of welcome, the National President of SCM, Rev. Eric Ighalo, commended Osinbajo for honouring their invitation.

Ighalo said that the conference was about active involvement of youths in reversing the problems that had held the country down through dialogue, collaboration and contention.

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