FG sets launch date for paperless government system –

The federal government has said it is working to achieve a paperless government system by 2030.

Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said so on Wednesday in Abuja.

Pantami spoke at the Champions Day and closing of the 2021 department-wide e-government capacity building program at the e-government training center.

The training, organized in eight batches, was facilitated by the National Agency for the Development of Information Technologies with the support of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 1,376 civil servants were trained from November 2020 to December 2021 at the center located at the Civil Service Institute of Nigeria, Abuja.

Recipients are expected to drive national digital economy policy and strategy to achieve change and leverage technology in building a vibrant digital economy.

Pantami recalled that from 2019 to the end of 2021, the ministry had developed 16 policies to drive the digital economy agenda, which included policies on virtual engagements and e-government.

He said, “By 2030, we hope to achieve a paperless government that will be driven by Blockchain technology and can be used to accomplish many things.”

The minister said that through the efforts of the government, NITDA, by approving IT projects in MDAs in 2019 and 2020, was able to save the FG about N9 billion and about N152 million.

According to him, by implementing policies in the sector, more can be done.

He led the e-GTC committee to ensure the digitization of the center’s activities during the year.

Pantami said, “The committee should ensure that training is extended to state governments and chief executives of organizations for a comprehensive e-government system and educate them on the benefits of digitizing government processes.

“We also need a database of these formations for reference to raise the country’s ranking in the international community.”

The minister urged the champions to replicate the training in their various organizations so as to train the trainers to ensure the transmission of the training to their colleagues.

Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, said OHCSF was working with NITDA to create a digital platform to facilitate service delivery in the civil service space.

Yemi-Esan noted that government agencies need to collaborate better for a sustainable digital economy agenda, without which the nation could not move forward.

NITDA Director General Kashifu Inuwa, who is also Chairman of the e-GTC Steering Committee, said there is a need to build human capacity in the digital transformation drive.

Inuwa recalled that the program was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive during the official unveiling of the NDEPS on November 28, 2019.

He said the agency should use e-GTC to provide the capacity building component of the implementation of the e-government master plan for civil servants in ministries, departments and agencies.

He also recalled that a 10-man steering committee to oversee the affairs of the e-government training center was established in November 2019.

Inuwa said, “The committee has engaged 16 Korea-trained officials as resource persons to train the trainers, even though proper training only started in November 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The center trained 1,376 officials from 48 MDAs between November 2020 and December 2021.

“The center adopted the government-saving strategy of hosting events hosted by partner MDAs and held 50 events spanning 184 days for interested MDAs in 2020 and 2021.”

Inuwa said the services provided by NITDA included security, an expanded training center, desktop computers and internet, among other facilities.

He added that under the agency’s plans for 2022, it would train more civil servants, begin executive capacity building for high-level decisions and decision makers such as permanent secretaries, CEOs of parastatals and legislators.

He added that he would start building the capacity of federal and state officials.

He said: “The benefits of e-GTC training include recognizing the opportunities that e-government can bring, identifying and prioritizing areas where technology can be better applied to increase the efficiency, enable change and improve service delivery.”

Inuwa said part of this includes developing and implementing a channel switching strategy to encourage citizens to adopt and switch to the most efficient online services.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Bitrus Nabasu, said taking advantage of the center could help reposition the country on the digital global map.

The event saw awards given to outstanding civil servants who participated in the training, and a ‘Best Leadership for e-Government’ award to the Minister.

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