COMPUTING

Nigeria: Stakeholders Decry Award of N4.5 Billion ICT Project to HP

A group of concerned Information Communications Technology (ICT) Professionals has condemned the award of $29 million- that is, N4.49billion contract to HP for the Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMS) project.

ThisDay sources confirmed that the stakeholders in the industry were bringing out their 'war chest' to petition the federal government against the award of the contract. The Federal Government had last week awarded the N4.49 billion ICT contract , which will be domiciled in the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to HP.

The project, which has a five year lifespan is aimed at improving the financial processes of the government in its departments and ministries. But the sources argued that such contract award was tantamount to capital flight and if the same had been awarded to local players would have created nothing less than 20, 000 jobs for Nigerians.

The stakeholders were alleging that the contract in principle between the Federal Government and HP Nigeria Limited lacked credibility, promoted monopoly and Anti-trust and as such should be terminated with immediate effect because it will destroy the foundation of the ICT industry.

The Group of Concerned ICT Professionals described the contract award as unpatriotic and dangerous and called for its urgent termination. They reiterated that the contract promoted corporate monopoly and anti-trust at the enterprise level and was against international convention.

The group stressed that with Nigeria currently producing about 1,800 ICT graduates annually, with a potential growth of over 100,000 annually, the consequences of the Federal Government's action will ultimately lead to massive unemployment in the Industry.

The pool of ICT graduates without job in Nigeria will turn to Cybercrime and multiply the prevailing cyber security nightmare bedevilling the nation. According to the group, based on its professional evaluation and analysis, IT graduates without jobs in Nigeria will eventually constitute to delivering the largest economic, political and cultural damages to the future survivability strategy of the Nation at great cost to children yet unborn.

The other reason given by the body on why the contract needed to be terminated was that the signed contract was highly risky and may lead to the extinction of the innovations and carrier development in the ICT Industry.

The contract is also said to negate the Federal Government of Nigeria Laws as stipulated in the CPN ACT 49 of 1993. It also does not conform to the Law on due process. The group stressed that Nigerian ICT stakeholders, professionals were not consulted but clandestinely excluded.

The sensitivity of the contract, according to the group, portended a great danger to the National Security and the survivability of Nigeria in the cyberspace and negated the 20-2020 mission of the federal government.

Source: This Day

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