By Prince Osuagwu
The Minister of Communications and Technology, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, yesterday suspended the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Peter Jack over allegations of illegal employments and procurements carried out in direct contraventions of laid down rules and procedure unknown to Civil Service administration in Nigeria.
In his stead, the minister also appointed, Director of Corporate Strategy and Research in the Agency, Dr. Vincent Olatunji as acting DG.
Shittu, through his Special Assistant on Media Mr Victor Oluwadamilare, said the suspension became imperative on the strength of deluge of petitions regarding several alleged wrong doings in NITDA and subsequent preliminary findings of an Investigative Committee set up by the Ministry.
He added that the petitions against Mr Jack relates to employments not approved by the appropriate authority and procurements carried out in direct contraventions of laid down rules and procedure unknown to Civil Service administration in Nigeria.
Recall that the ministry had earlier set a committee to investigate the myriads of allegations against Jack. According to Oluwadamilare, ,”Some of the infractions identified by the Investigative
Committee made up of three senior Ministry officials include unauthorised and illegal recruitment of additional staff totalling 245 within a spate of seven months.
The committee also discovered that, “as at 29th May, 2015, NITDA only had a staff complement of 74. But from May, 2015 to 31st December, 2015, additional 245 staff were employed under questionable circumstances, despite clear instruction from the Ministry directing suspension of employment in the Agency”.
“These disclosures were deduced from the records provided by Mr Jack, although he was unable to provide concrete information on whose authority he embarked on the massive recruitment and who granted him the authority for officials to be seconded to NITDA from other MDAs”,.