Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country are indebted to the National Information and Technology Agency (NITA) to the tune of GHC13 million, Communication Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has revealed.
NITA is an agency under the Ministry of Communication that ensures the provision of quality information communication technology and the promotion of standards of efficiency and quality service.
Some institutions have complained about the quality of service delivered by NITA, however, Mrs Ursula-Owusu-Ekuful has charged the institutions to pay up to ensure the provision of quality service.
She said at the maiden NITA stakeholders’ forum in Accra on Monday, 15 April 2019, that: “The current outstanding debt owed by MMDAs to NITA amounts to GHC13 million. I have news for you: pay your debts, NITA will provide improved services to you for a fee and you must make provision for payment for it in your budgets, just as you provide for other utilities; for, guess what, data is as much a utility as water and electricity”.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful observed that the launch of the Industry Forum underlines the government’s determination to digitalise all sectors of the economy for economic development and growth.
“We are in the process of upscaling the use of technology within the government and building a seamless, protected e-government infrastructure to promote greater efficiency within the public sector and enhance its delivery of service and output to citizens. We will not be doing business as usual,” she stated.
She said the ministry “intends to reduce the duplication and waste that has characterised the procurement of ICT services in government ministries, departments and agencies because no one exercised oversight in this sector. Sub-standard and near-obsolete IT equipment and services were passed off as new and sold to the government at inflated prices in the past.
“NITA will define the minimum IT standards all MDAs must comply with and set up the compliance mechanisms to ensure that you do.
“No agency will procure any IT software, equipment or service without reference to NITA and you will be required to seek its advice before you do so. We are working with the Ministry of Finance, Public Procurement Agency and the Auditor-General to ensure that these regulations will be enforced”, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added.