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NITDA poised on using ICT to cut down cost of governance, eliminate corruption – Pantami

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Director-General of the National Information and Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Isa Pantami, on Tuesday, said his agency is ready to deploy ICT tools for the full implementation of e-Government in order to cut down the cost of governance.

According to him, a total embrace of the ICT tools will as well improve national economic growth; enhance access and quality of services as well as render public agencies more transparent and accountable.

Mr Pantami made the assertion on Tuesday during a stakeholders’ engagement on Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework, Ne-GIF, organized by NITDA in Abuja.

He said the integration of all governance processes will help the country fight graft by enhancing accountability, transparency and elimination of corruption in the system.

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‘‘We recognize the enormity of the responsibilities placed on the Agency as well as the possibilities of IT or e-Government as a development resource for achieving socio-economic transformation.

‘‘e-Government and ICT tools can among other things, cut down the cost of governance, improve national economic growth; enhance access and quality of services as well as render public agencies more transparent and accountable.

‘‘Accordingly, at this information age, going digital for any government is the optimal route to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘‘When all governance processes are integrated, you do not need personal contact or see somebody because he treats whatever you apply for.

‘‘It will help eliminate corruption. Without accountability and transparency, we can’t fight corruption.’’

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Mr pantami said the aim of the stakeholders’ forum was to review the e-Government Interoperability Framework, Ne-GIF, for efficient service delivery.

The D-G, therefore, said NITDA is committed to change the narrative by working closely with stakeholders to remove existing barriers caused by silo deployment of IT solutions in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

‘‘The barriers have made information sharing a nightmare among MDAs. It is an obvious fact that applying information technology (IT) for governance holds tremendous potential to improve the way governments deliver public services.

‘‘It is worthy to note that seamless exchange of Information between various MDAs’ IT infrastructure and applications is critical to cross-portfolio service delivery and public service transformation,” he said.

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‘‘We think there is need to come up with a framework. Many nations have their own framework, but Nigeria is yet to have one. It is better than never.

‘‘The Ne-GIF is expected to provide tools, specifications and recommendations that are based on Standards for supporting MDAs in undertaking interoperability of e-government solutions for the provision of cross-portfolio services.

‘‘Leveraging on ICT to ensure seamless information exchange is a prerequisite to achieving ERGP objectives, Sustainable Development Goals by United Nations and attaining our desired Government Digital Transformation Agenda.

“We need to build capacity and ensure the right leadership is provided across MDAs,’’ Mr Pantami noted.

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