Tue. Sep 17th, 2019

Nigeria technology resources can alleviate inequalities – NITDA

The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Pantami,has said that Nigeria has the  technology to alleviate inequalities in the society.

Dr Pantami, stated  this in Abuja in his opening remarks at the one day e-Government Capacity Building Workshop for Directors and Heads of ICT in Ministries Departments and Agencies of Government.

Pantami represented by , Director, information Technology Infrastructure Services NITDA, Dr. Usman Abdullahi said that   “we have matured technology available to help alleviate inequalities in our society, creating a fair and just Nation. To move forward we must unite our resources, efforts and strengthen our collaborative mechanisms”

Speaking further he said, “I am pleased to inform you that we have achieved key milestones in our journey with the launch of several key regulatory instruments in areas of Data Protection, Government Enterprise Architecture, Inter-operability and Government websites.

We are all witness to how the use of technology in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is saving billions and bringing transparency to government finances, the growth trend of .gov.ng and .mil.ng in Nigeria in recent times and the total number of registered .ng domains from inception till date, stands at 138,060  (as at April 29, 2019). From this number, 2,274 are .gov.ng while 278 are .mil.ng.

and that, ‘it is worthy to note that the total number of .gov.ng and .mil.ng domains  registered from inception till October 2016 were 1,856. This means that 418 new domains were registered between November 2016 and April 2019 which signifies a percentage increase of 18.3%.”

According to him the workshop is aimed at: Reducing the number of failed ICT projects in government service delivery, Improving citizen’s access to government information and ease of doing business, Promoting efficiency, transparency and convenience of government services and Enhancing National Security use of digital identity

And that the workshop was also informed based on the needs identified in their engagements as they seek to contribute to more efficient service delivery, better value for money, improved access to government services and a safer Nigeria for all.

He also spoke on the current ICT environment in the country by saying, “We have seen how current silo  ICT environments have unclear strategies, employing partial approaches to implementation thus leading to loss of revenue, opportunity and trust in using technology and we should all be aware that successful ICT- enabled projects must be suitable to the level of a given country’s development, Relevant to the needs integrated with infrastructure applications, and skills development designed and implemented within a broader process of institutional and business process change. Coordinated as one part of an overall national development strategy and continuously monitored and evaluated for feedback.

And that e-Government projects must follow vigorous  processes, during which different challenges may  appear at different stages that cumulatively lead to outcomes, some of which may be desired and otherwise. We need to look into the interactions of different actors, which determine the success or failure of a project and adequately plan to shape outcomes for National Interests.

In an interview with journalist on the side line ,Dr. Abdullahi stated the reason why Nigerians  should accept e-governance, “The need for us to accept that IT is an enabler that will enable us provide services to the citizens and it will make us form part of this digital transformation that will grow the economy”

On the funding of IT infrastructure, he said, ” Government is doing its best to ensure adequate funding is provided to fund ICT infrastructure is the country. Government is looking at strategic partnership and recently some infracos (infrastructure companies) were licensed to provide services.
There are a number of initiatives aimed at addressing this issue of funding such as public and private partnership and government is ensuring that it engages appropriate individuals and organizations within and outside the country in making sure that adequate infrastructure is provided.

On the slow adoption of e-governance by government agencies, he said, ” we are not on time because of a number of issues, such as lack of synergy among government agencies and that is why we at NITDA being the regulatory body are focusing in building all relevant stakeholders through capacity building like this, to ensure that everybody understands the value of the adoption of IT. Particularly in the provision of government services.

On the effect of e-governance on corruption if fully implemented in Nigeria.
It will substantially reduce corruption I would say because this aspect of corruption is being able to do something without being traced and being able to engage people in interactions. So if you have an engagement that is e; you minimize human interaction. If e-governance is adopted properly it will substantially reduce corruption, enhance transparency and it facilitates accountability and that is why we are trying to sensitize everybody to adopt it.

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