Home Big Story e-Government | Buhari gives marching order to Communications Minister

e-Government | Buhari gives marching order to Communications Minister

e-Government | Buhari gives marching order to Communications Minister
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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Barrister Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications to submit Nigeria’s proposed e-Government master plan for “consideration” by the Federal Executive Council. 

Technology Times can exclusively confirm that the Presidency has directed the Minister to present two key memoranda: the Nigeria e-Government Master Plan 2016-2020 as well as the Nigerian ICT Sector Roadmap 2016-2019.

The Presidency’s directive comes in the wake of Aso Rock’s intervention in the turf battle between the Ministry of Communications and its Science and Technology cousin, over the supervision of four key government technology agencies and control of the Nigerian ICT sector.

Meanwhile, the Presidency says that the Communications Minister should bring forward the two technology plans of government to Federal Executive Council (FEC), after it was decided that “status quo” should remain with Shittu overseeing the agencies under his watch while his Science and Technology counterpart, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, should continue to oversee 17 parastatals “which are mostly research agencies.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency says that the Communications Minister should bring forward the two technology plans of government to Federal Executive Council (FEC), after it was decided that “status quo” should remain with Shittu overseeing the agencies under his watch while his Science and Technology counterpart, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, should continue to oversee 17 parastatals “which are mostly research agencies.”

Omobola Johnson
Dr. Omobola Johnson, ex-Minister of Communication Technology 

According to the directive, “the Ministry of Communications, which is the rightful agency in which the Presidential Council proposed on e-Government is to be domiciled, should review the composition of the proposed Council and include all critical stakeholders before submitting the memorandum to Council.”

The proposed e-Government plan of the current administration is coming after a 2012 Federal Executive Council approval of a similar initiative under which the initiative also involved “the identification of key business processes in government MDA’s as it involves service delivery to the general public, with the aim of automating these processes and for possible online delivery through the one-stop government portal.”

Under that dispensation, the MDAs selected for the pilot run included Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

According to the Ministry of Communication Technology (now renamed Ministry of Communications), the 2012 Federal Executive Council, approval also included the following: Adoption of IT Shared Services; Establishment of Chief Technology Officer cadre in civil service to bring efficiency into annual budget process for MDA’s IT projects; Advisory services on e-Government Projects to all MDAs and Independent programme management on systems integration projects above N100m.

Others include: Stimulation of local industry through government procurement (hardware, software, services); Central Repository of all major government ICT projects and Collaborative approach to content development and maintenance.

According to details of the 2012 e-Government plan, the Ministry said that it created four key areas of initiatives to drive the E-Government that included:

  1. Connected Government: This is an ongoing effort to deploy more comprehensive and integrated use of information and communications technology (ICT) in government to provide better response to citizens’ demands, improve service delivery and make administration more efficient.
  2. Informed Citizenry: This includes the use of Web and New Media to improve citizen engagement and drive efficiency in government. Two flagship projects of the Ministry in this regard is the Government Services Portaland Government Contact Centre which will be launched in Q1 2013. The benefits of these projects will include, but not limited to:

o    Improve citizens’ access to information and services

o    Increase efficiency in service and information delivery to citizens and other stakeholders

o    Create 1,250 jobs through outsourcing

o    Stimulate the call centre outsourcing in the country

o    Online Service Delivery

  1. Open Government/ Open Data Initiative: This is to increase non-sensitive government datasets online in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. The Ministry is working with the World Bank through Korean Trust Fund to develop the Open Government Partnership OGP) Country Plan and Technology Roadmap for OGP. It is believed that by joining the OGP and embracing the Open Data in Government, it will deliver benefits such as :

o    Create over 10,000 microwork and three times indirect jobs

o    Positions Nigeria in the forefront of good governance and dynamic civic engagements

o    Create job opportunities for software developers

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