The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Eng. Babachir Lawal, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to use Information and Communications Technology to drive the change agenda of his administration and diversify the nation’s economy.
The SGF made the announcement Tuesday during opening ceremony of the 14th Innovation Africa Digital Summit 2016 organised by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Galaxy Backbone Limited at Transcorp Hotel, Abuja.
According to him, the journey had started with the use of ICT and the digital platform to fight corruption and insecurity in the country.
He told participants at the 2016 Summit, among whom were the Ministers of Communications from Ethopia, Lesotho, and Sierra Leone, and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winiefred Ita-Oyo that the event was a new dawn for African countries to leverage on ICT and digital platforms to transform their socio-economic outlook.
The SGF said aside other global issues such as climate change and insecurity, the Buhari administration remains committed to leverage on the opportunities in the ICT sector to ensure socio-economy transformation of the country through massive employment generation, fight against corruption, poverty and insecurity.
He assured that the government would continue to support all efforts geared towards the diversification of the nation’s economic base to provide more opportunities for Nigerians and improve the wellbeing of the people.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winiefred Ita-Oyo said henceforth human capacity development; examinations and assessments of civil servants for promotion would be digitally driven to curtail the problem of ghost workers in the service.
She said it has become imperative for the nation’s public service to be part of the digital movement in that it would improve facts and records keeping in personnel and pay roll management system in the service and impact positive on service delivery in the country.
The Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu described the summit as opportunity for the present administration to leverage the benefits of the digital revolution, innovation and convergance of technology to kickstart a new digitally smart Nigeria.
He added that the government was partnering with the South-Korea government on e-government initiative, stressing that a roadmap would soon be unveiled by the government to usher in a digitally smart government with ripple effects on the Nigerian economy.
He said government would bank on industry analyst’s suggestion that the ICT tools and devices, softwares solution, IT outsourcing and the e-commerce sector could employ over 40 million Nigerians and contribute billions of dollars to the economy to open channels of growth and development of the sector.
The Minister said: “It is worthy to note that government is also fast tracking initiatives to expidite the penetration of reliable and affordable broadband plan for a robust internet services available in the country. This is aimed at improved economic development and several business growths.
“I am working and looking forward to having a country with strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that effectively harnesses the talents and energies of its people and responsibly exploits its natural endowments and ICT potential so as to guarantee a high standard of living and quality of life to our citizens.”