Monday, July 4, 2022

‘Judiciary Vital To Actualisation Of Digitisation’

L-R: The director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi and the president, Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban-Mensem during the capacity building training in Abuja.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has said the judiciary has a critical role to play in the actualisation of the nation’s digitisation plan.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of a four-day capacity-building on ‘IT Infrastructure and Digital Governance’ organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for justices of the Court of Appeal, in Abuja, he said the judiciary has a role to play in protecting the country’s democracy and security in the face of the rise in threats of ungoverned spaces which have pervaded the world.

According to him, this necessitated the need for the NITDA to collaborate with the Court of Appeal through comprehensive capacity-building for its justices, to protect the country and her citizens.

Represented by the director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, Pantami described the training as timely. 

“It is imperative for the Judiciary as a strategic partner in the development of the nation’s economy to fully embrace the adoption of information and communications technology (ICT), to improve its work processes and enhance productivity,” he said.

He noted that the ungoverned space of the digital age has given rise to challenges and it was important for all justices to be proficient in the use of digital tools to ease their work processes, safeguard their data and make decisions easily.

“The ungoverned space in the digital age has been a big challenge to the security and democracy of our dear nation and you are the only people who can help our democracy and our nation in this regard,” Pantami stated.

Speaking further, the minister said digital technology can be used for operational excellence and business innovations. He added that technology, which is rapidly developing at an exponential rate, has been affecting democracy and civil justice.

He argued that technology is being relied on for information security and has exerted a powerful influence in daily living.

“We live in an era where things that happen online have a physical presence in our offline world,” he added.

The minister also noted that the judiciary plays an important role in translating laws. In this regard, to ensure that anything illegal offline must also be illegal online and vice-versa.

He opined that technology, which is changing daily, ought to be used as an unprecedented approach to solving unprecedented problems. “These technologies are unprecedented, changing everything and disrupting the way we do things, so we need to use our law to solve these problems,” he observed.

Pantami urged the justices to harness the potentials of digital technology to derive maximum benefits for the system. “You need to understand the use of digital technology and translate the laws so that we can build systems with justice in our minds. Soon enough, most processes will be automated and systems will be making decisions for us,” he added.

In her remarks, the president, Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban-Mensem, appreciated the intervention of the minister and NITDA DG in organising the laudable training which she claimed will enlighten the justices and ease their work.

“With this training starts the partnership that will ensure that the judiciary, particularly the Court of Appeal, stays on top of ICT development in the country and the world at large,” she added.

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