Nigeria must work hard to harness e-Government benefits – Shittu

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The Minister of Communications, Dr. Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, has said that more hard work must be done by all stakeholders in the Information Communication Technology sector on the implementation of the e-Government Masterplan to enable the country to fully harness its promised benefits.

The minister said this during the official launch of the nation’s e-Government Masterplan in Abuja.

According to him, “While there have been some e-Government services implemented, I daresay, for Nigeria to fully harness the promised benefits, there is still a lot more work to be done, both at the Federal level as well as by the various state governments.”

Earlier, Shittu enumerated the benefits of the e-Government Masterplan launched by the Federal Ministry of Communications to include cost savings, efficiency in service delivery, enhanced transparency and accountability.

Improved public administration, growth of the ICT sector leading to employment opportunities and improved economic development, according to him, are the benefits the nation stands to harvest from the newly launched e-Government Masterplan.

He reiterated that in recognition of the several benefits accruable from the adoption of the e-Government practices, the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs in 2003 encouraged member nations to adopt e-Government practice and as well strive to improve the quality and scope of its adoption.

Shittu explained that the United Nations survey showed a correlation between the National Income of a country and the level of e-Government development, adding that the Federal Government believed that a holistic adoption and implementation of the e-Government Masterplan would inevitably result in an increase in the sector’s contribution to the National Gross Domestic Product.

The minister noted that being aware of the fact that such a huge project as the holistic implementation of e-Government might encounter resistance amongst some civil servants, the government had prevented this probable hitch by putting in place a robust “capacity building programme” in collaboration with the Korean International Cooperation Agency.

He further said that in a bid to ensure effective implementation of the Masterplan, Several e-Government courses had been instituted and over 1200 officials drawn from across the public service had been trained.   

Shittu disclosed that an e-Government Training Centre situated at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria would facilitate continuous e-Government training and reorientation for all public servants.

Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Mr. Musa Istifanus, disclosed that the e-Government Masterplan was developed based on three phases- pre-implementation, implementation phase and post implementation phase, and had been carefully designed to stand the test of time.

He noted that the Federal Ministry of Communications adopted “think big, start small and scale fast” mindset as a feasible plan to achieve instant success and keep a positive driving force, both internally and externally.