The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has a new Director-General and he is Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami. He was confirmed by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of 13 newly appointed chief executives for 13 government agencies.
Pantami is currently a Professor of Computer and Information Systems at the Islamic University of Madina and he will be taking over from Dr. Vincent Olatunji, who has been the acting DG since January, 2016.
The previous DG of NITDA was Mr. Peter Jack, who was suspended (aka fired) in January over allegations of illegal employments amongst a bunch of other stuff.
To be honest, NITDA has not really been a visible organization in the years it has been around. For all the labor and money going into the agency, there has been barely anything tangible to show for it.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek describes what NITDA has become appropriately: “[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).”
From that quote, it is obvious that there have been calls for NITDA to be scrapped or merged with the Ministry of Communications to cut down on the cost of governance, and that reasoning makes sense.
Hopefully, Dr. Pantami will be able to turn the NITDA story around make it an agency that can actually serve a purpose and make an impact in the tech industry.