The Federal Government said that it was working to achieve a paperless government system by 2030.
Prof. Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said this at the Champions Day and closing of 2021 Service Wide Capacity Building Programme on e-Government at the e-Government Training Centre (e-GTC) in Abuja.
The training, held in eight batches, was facilitated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) with support from the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHCSF).
1,376 public servants were trained from Nov. 2020 to Dec. 2021 at the centre located in the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN), Abuja.
The beneficiaries are expected to drive the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 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 come up with 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 that can be used to achieve a lot.”
The Minister said that through government efforts, 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 the implementation of policies in the sector, more can be achieved.
He directed the e-GTC committee to ensure digitisation of activities in the centre in the year.
“The committee should ensure that the training is extended to state governments and Chief Executives of organisations for a comprehensive e-Government system and educate them on the benefits of digitalisation of government processes.
“We also need a database of these trainings for reference sake to raise the country’s ranking at the international community,” he said.
The Minister urged the champions to replicate the training in their various organisations in a train-the-trainer manner to ensure the training transcended to their colleagues.
Dr Folasade Yemi-Essan, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, said the OHCSF was working with NITDA to create a digital platform for easy service delivery in the public service space.
Yemi-Essan noted that agencies of government needed to collaborate better for a sustainable digital economy agenda, without which the nation could not move forward.
The Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, who also is the Chairman, Governing Committee of the e-GTC, said there was need to build human capacity in the drive toward digital transformation.
Inuwa recalled that the programme was part of the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari during the official unveiling of the NDEPS on Nov. 28, 2019.
He said that the agency was to use the e-GTC to provide the capacity building component of e-Government Masterplan implementation for civil servants across Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
He also recalled that a 10-man governing committee to oversee the affairs of the e-government training centre was instituted in Nov. 2019.
“The committee engaged 16 Korean-trained public servants as resource persons to train the trainers, even though the proper training did not start until November 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The centre has trained 1,376 civil servants from 48 MDAs between November 2020 and December 2021.
“The centre adopted the government cost-saving strategy of hosting events organised by partner-MDAs and has hosted 50 events spanning 184 days for interested MDAs in 2020 and 2021.’’
He said that services provided by NITDA included security, expanded training centre, desktops, internet, among other facilities.
He added that as part of the agency’s plans for 2022, it would train more civil servants, commence executive capacity building for top-level decisions and policymakers such as permanent secretaries, CEOs of parastatals and lawmakers.
He added that it would begin capacity building for both federal and state public servants.
“The benefits of the training carried out by the e-GTC include recognising the opportunities e-government can bring, identify and prioritise where technology can be best applied to drive efficiencies, enable change and improve service delivery.
He said that part of it included developing and implementing a Channel Shift strategy to encourage citizens to take up and move to the most efficient e-enabled services.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Bitrus Nabasu, said that taking advantage of the centre could help reposition the country on the digital global map.
The event witnessed awards to outstanding public servants who participated in the training, and an award of “Best Leadership for e-Government” to the minister.