Saturday, September 25, 2021

FG Engages Stakeholders On Digital Economy Development

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami.

As part of efforts to promote Nigeria’s digital economy development, the Federal Government has engaged federal public institutions (FPIs) and technology industry players in the communication sector to brainstorm on ways of helping the country achieve its quest.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami said at the maiden edition of the Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups (DTTWGs) hangout convened by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) today in Abuja, technology industry players and public institutions were critical determinants of a digital nation and harped on the importance of co-operation between government and key players to fast-track digital transformation.

Quoting projections on digital transformation, Pantami explained that human capital development was at the centre of the transformation, without which nothing could be achieved.

“The Federal public institutions (FPIs) and the public servants are the engine room of economic growth. On the one hand, the innovative use of digital technologies through empowered human capital makes the difference between the digital economy haves and have-nots.  On the other hand, the importance of collaboration and co-creation between the government and the technology industry players is a critical determinant of a digital nation.  

“These two requirements served as our motive for conceiving the concept of establishing Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups (DTTWGs) in the FPIs,” he said.

The minister further said the DTTWGs would govern the implementation of IT and digital economy-related projects in the government, adding members of DTTWGs are the e-Government champions and the critical governance structure for implementing the Nigeria e-Government Master Plan (NeGMP) and National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) in the public sector. 

Saying government cannot achieve digital transformation of the country alone, he emphasized the need for the involvement of the technology ecosystem to co-create ideas and innovate.

“On this note, I called for the establishment of a digitization hangout as a platform for continuous engagement between DTTWGs and the technology ecosystem players. Digital Transformation calls for a rethink in how public institutions do business and deliver public value and experience to customers. Public institutions should be looking for innovative ways to leverage digital economy to deliver value better than ever before. Doing this requires both the government and the private sector capabilities to create and deliver the expected value to citizens. 

“Hence, I implore you to take advantage of this opportunity, examine all our initiatives, share your experiences, and let us co-create ideas to bring public sector digitization and the digital economy to the next level,” he added.

Earlier in his welcome address, director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, said the hangout aimed to push for value co-creation between the government and its key stakeholders.

He noted that the DTTWG members and the tech ecosystem had a critical role to play in implementing government policies such as the Nigeria e-Government Master Plan (NeGMP) approved and launched by the Federal Executive Council on May 24, 2019, to drive e-Government adoption in the country; the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), an overarching policy for the digitalisation of the Nigerian economy, and the recently launched NITDA Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021-2024 to refocus its priorities in line with the NDEPS.

“Today, we have achieved another milestone by creating a platform for bringing together the DT-TWG members and the key players in the technology industry. We hope this engagement will foster cooperation between the DTTWGs and technology industry players and provide a platform where experiences, achievements, and challenges will be shared. We are optimistic that this will also be a platform for constructive stakeholders’ inputs and buy-in and ultimately a medium for rights decisions and devising feasible strategies towards improving digital transformation maturity in the public sector,” he added.

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