President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed instead Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami as director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Dr. Pantami and 12 other new chief executives for different federal government agencies were appointed earlier in the week.
Pantami is a professor of Computer & Info Systems at the Islamic University of Madina and former lecturer, Department of Information Technology, ATBU, takes over from Olatunji, an establishment man who put up perfunctory efforts to get President Buhari’s confirmation.
He is expected to turn around NITDA, which 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 the 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.
Oronsaye recommended that NITDA should become a department inside the newly created Ministry of Communications Technology and its duty as IT clearinghouse for government to taken over by Galaxy Backbone Plc.
To some extent, NITDA’s careworn state is a direct doppelgänger of past leaderships at the agency since inception.
They all displayed clear lack of focus and understanding of the role of the agency in the present ‘knowledge era’.Drive and innovation are scare at the agency beyond its mechanical civil service role.
It is so worrisome that an agency with so much powers from the National Information Technology Development Agency ACT 2007, has failed over the course of 14 years to plan, develop and promote the use of Information technology in Nigeria.
Olatunji who has acted since Mr. Peter Jack, former DG was sacked earlier in the year, over alleged “misconduct” did little to lift the image of the agency.