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NITDA: FG Saves N13bn through IT Clearance in Two Years



  • NITDA: FG Saves N13bn through IT Clearance in Two Years

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) the country’s information technology (IT) regulator has revealed that the agency was able to save N13 billion for the federal government through IT clearance among government owned agencies and parastatals within two years.

Director-General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who made the disclosure in an interview, said the figure showed an increase of 30 per cent compared with the N10 billion in 2017.

He said NITDA was able to save as much as N3.3 billion from a single project it supervised and cleared, thus saving the federal government a lot of money through IT clearance.

According to Pantami, “Usually many Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government will come to NITDA for clearance on IT projects that they are working on for the year. Most of them either inflate the cost of the project or present projects that are not relevant to the agency for approval.

“So what we do when they come to us, as mandated by law, is to ask if there is value for the project before we begin the clearance process. We try to look at previous projects to ensure that projects are not being repeated.

What we discovered is that organisations and parastatals do not have maintenance culture.” “If a project was executed last year, then in the subsequent year, we are expected to see project maintenance and not the presentation of the same project as new project. What most of them do is to repeat the same project every year and this is just a way of wasting resources and funds,” Pantami said.

“At NITDA, we try to ensure maintenance culture in already done project and maintenance usually do not gulp the same huge amount that a fresh project should gulp. We also look at the technical capabilities of handling a new project, and we look at the usefulness of the project before we clear them,” Pantami added.

He, however, explained that some of the agencies partake in most projects not because the projects are useful and required, but because they want to justify the monetary aspect of it.

“Most of them feel that the best way to go to National Assembly to defend their project is when they present projects that are IT related because they are sure that members of the National Assembly will not want to go into technical details of IT projects because they do not understand the technicalities very well,” he said.

“The National Assembly members have resorted that going forward they would always ask agencies with IT projects to first seek clearance with NITDA before coming to them, and through that process, we have been able to save the country over N13 billion as at June this year, up from N10 billion in 2017,” Pantami added.

He commended the new mandate that requires agencies to first seek IT clearance with NITDA before presenting such projects to the National Assembly. He said the new system has been able to save government a lot of money and would continue to save more money for government.

“What we do when they come to us, is to evaluate the project in details and ensure that the amount proposed on the project is justified. For example, there was a particular project in which after a single presentation, we were able to reduce its cost by N3.3 billion,” Pantami said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday



Crude oil

Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.

Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.

Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.

While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.

According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.

“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”

Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.

The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.

I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.

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Crude Oil

Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts




Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.

OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.

Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”

Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.

Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.

Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.

“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”

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Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin



Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges

Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.

The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.

The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.

We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.

Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.

Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.

In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.


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