Information Technology is The Bedrock for National Survival and Development in A Rapidly Changing Global Environment – Arabi.

DG NITDA Dr Isa Pantami(left) and Ag. DG BPSR, Mr Dasuki Arabi

Ag. Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Mr. Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi has posited that the utilization of Information Technology in the Public Service is the Bedrock for National survival and development in any nation that seek to attain global change and rapid growth. He made the statement at the Lunch Time Reform Seminar held recently in Abuja with an emphasis on “The Need for Active Engagement of Public Institutions of IT Regulatory Instruments in Nigeria”.

Arabi called on every stakeholder to embrace Skilled Human Resource, reliable infrastructure, Open Government and other vital issues that border on capacity building in other to drive Nigeria’s socio-economic growth. Speaking further, the Ag. DG described the sustainability cycle of the Public Service of a country to be connected to the web of IT to succeed and deliver a world-class result in a global context.

The Head of the Bureau said although IT compliance is crucial to development, there is also a need to underscore the role of the regulatory agency in Nigeria. He said the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), a Regulatory body established by the Act (2007), derived its powers to Develop and Regulate Information Technology in Nigeria as its core mandate. He also described the Five IT Regulatory instruments of NITDA as: Rule -making process, Data protection Regulation of Nigeria, the Guidelines for clearance of IT Practices, Framework and Guidelines for Public Internet Access and Guidelines for the use of Social Media platform.

According to him, the five Pillars of IT Regulation can be linked to the provisions of the Executive Order-005 which involves Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content and science, Engineering and Technology.

To further strengthen Nigeria’s Public Institutions, the Ag. DG mentioned the task delivered by the BPSR with the support of NITDA, Galaxy Backbone and other Government Agencies by creating a Scorecard template to rank the proficiency of MDAs’ website to meet global standards and enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria as stipulated by EO-001.
Corroborating these statements, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami reiterated that no nation of the world can attain that enviable position of Socio-economic development without embracing Information Technology in its Public Service.

In his presentation, the guest speaker illustrated the workings of the application of IT in the Public Service as employed by some countries of the world. He pointed out that Denmark in its historia achieved 99% success and was ranked in 2017 as the best in IT global compliance in its Public Service which resulted in huge foreign investment attraction to its business environment. He said Nigeria could equally attain such results by digitalization, if all hands are on deck.

According to him, Nigerian success story could be viewed in the actualization of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel System (IPPIS), Treasury Single Account (TSA), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) which have saved the Federal Government Billion of naira.

Performing its regulatory role, the DG NITDA spoke about the Federal government circular (SGF.6/S19/T/65) of 18/6/2006 which mandates all MDAs to submit their IT projects for Clearance by NITDA. Pantami enjoined FPIs to ensure their IT projects are scrutinized by NITDA before execution.

He further disclosed that NITDA regulate the IT space to motivate and make better the services of government offices unlike the wrong assumption that it is there to punish or shut down the practice. He further stressed that NITDA has recorded tremendous achievement by sanitizing the Nigerian cyberspace and prevented it from being a dumping ground.

Responding to questions from the audience, the DG, NITDA explained the importance of a central data system which would provide ease of access in business transactions in Nigeria. He, however noted the dangers inherent in the cyberspace if we fail to secure it.

Femi Alegbeleye