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FG spends N152bn on ICT projects

The federal government spent N152bn on digitization projects in 2021 across the country. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, said this…

The federal government spent N152bn on digitization projects in 2021 across the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, said this in Abuja on Tuesday at the closing of the 2021 Service Wide capacity building programme on e-Government at the e-Government Training Centre.

He said the amount constituted the total sum approved by the NITDA for the CBN, the NNPC, the CAC, the Immigration Service and Customs among other agencies of government for 2021 digitalisation projects.

Pantami said the amount represented a quantum leap from the N9bn spent in 2019 and 2020.

He said the capacity building programme for civil servants was part of the e-Government Master Plan aimed at digitizing every government process in all MDAs.

The training is a train-the-trainer programme targeted at selected civil servants who in turn are expected to go back to train their counterparts in their various organizations.

A total 1,376 civil servants from 48 MDAs have been trained under the scheme, comprising 890 trained in 2021 and another 486 trained in 2020.

The minister said the ministry established two virtual platforms coordinated by NITDA and Galaxy Backbone during the COVID-19 lockdown that also trained about 110,000 citizens across the country.

“Our target is to train selected officers that will go back to train other civil servants. 

From January to December 2021, NITDA approved the execution of 499 projects, including backlogs from 2019 and 2020.

“In 2021, the approval given by NITDA to agencies for digitization amount to N152bn, this is a major improvement on the N9 billion approved in 2019 and 2020 put together. With this feat so far recorded, the Minister said the ministry plans to double the achievement in 2022,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister also assured that the government would migrate to a paperless government by 2030.

He said all the necessary measures had been put in place to achieve the objective through the National Policy on for Digital Nigeria.

Earlier, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi Esan, said the result being celebrated in the digitization process is a product of collaboration between her office and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

She said with the ongoing collaboration with NITDA, most part of the public service would be digitized by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

She said, “This is not the end of the road, the Champions need to go back to their MDAs and replicate what they learnt, that is the way to go. With 65,000 civil servants and 500,000 public servants, this is how to bring everybody on board.”

In his remarks, the Director-General of NITDA, Inuwa Kashifu, said: “The capacity building, though, delayed by COVID-19, has started yielding results, trying to digitize various MDAs increase efficiency and save the cost of governance. As engine room, you should assist the government to realise the digitization plan for convenience and efficient governance.”

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