President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to comply with ongoing transition of all government operations to digital platforms that will enhance efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery, and promote more inter-agency synergy.
Buhari, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the e-NIGERIA 2019 Conference on the Nigerian Digital Economy held at the International Conference Centre (ICC), said the transition to digital economy was no longer optional for the MDAs, but “an absolute necessity,” following the launch of the e-government master plan which will drive and guide the process.
The president in a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, recalled that a directive in 2018 that all government funded ICT projects must be reviewed and cleared by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) saved the country over N16.8 billion.
“A key requirement of the e-government Master plan is for all government institutions to create a Digital Transformation Technical Working Group that will work with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to ensure seamless and coordinated implementation of projects, programs and policies.
“Furthermore, the Nigerian e-Government Interoperability Framework, the Enterprise Architecture and the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation are in place and all Ministries, Departments and Agencies are expected to comply with these policies,” he said.
President Buhari said the digitisation of key operations in public service such as the use of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) had enabled the government to save cost and fight corruption.
President Buhari pointed out that the push for more job creation and diversification of the economy received a boost in the second quota with the ICT sector contributing 13.85 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), quoting figures from the National Bureau of Statistics for 2019.
“This clearly shows the importance and potential of the ICT sector to our job creation and economic diversification agenda.
“Already, Nigerian ICT startups are leaving their mark on the global stage. For example, at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), a Nigerian Artificial Intelligence solution provider, Chiniki Guards, took first place, beating 750 contestants from 73 countries. We shall continue to encourage and support such digital entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions for local and global challenges,” he added.
The president said the Federal Ministry of Communications was re-designated Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to refocus on the emerging value of digitalization all over the world with a mandate to develop and implement a harmonized and well-coordinated digital economic policy and strategy for Nigeria.
“Today, I am informed that over 9.2 million SIM cards have either been normalised, blocked or deactivated in less than 40 days due to improper registration. We encourage all Nigerians to ensure that their phones are properly registered. As a government, our priority is to protect the lives and properties of all Nigerians,” President Buhari warned.