The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly propel the advancement of digitisation reforms within the government.
The agreement was signed by the executive vice chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta and the director-general of the BPSR, Dr. Dasuki Arabi at a signing ceremony held at the NCC’s head office in Abuja.
Danbatta underscored the MoU’s potential to enhance overall efficiency and productivity, emphasising its comprehensive inclusion of enabling policies and execution bodies, fundamental aspects of digital transformation. He further emphasised NCC’s steadfast dedication to bolstering broadband penetration, a foundational element for the success of the digitisation initiative.
He elaborated, stating, “The Nigerian National Broadband Plan document, made adequate provisions for the deployment of broadband infrastructure across the country. It is this same infrastructure that will drive services that will result in the transformation of governance as well as the key services sector in the economy”.
Anticipating the outcome of the digitisation process, Danbatta envisioned a paperless governance system where administrative processes are seamlessly executed online. He believed that the transition to such a system would yield significant efficiency improvements and positive transformation in the operations of entities like the Bureau of Public Service Reforms and the Nigerian Communications Commission.
Highlighting the strategic importance of inter-agency collaboration and partnership, Danbatta noted, “We attach a lot of importance to the way and manner we collaborate with sister agencies of government to give translation or to ensure the actualisation of that important item of our Strategic Vision Plan that is strategic collaboration and partnership, it explains why we are signing this memorandum of understanding”.
In his response, Arabi acknowledged NCC’s exceptional performance and leadership in embracing emerging technologies. He recounted the bureau’s longstanding collaboration with NCC, which dates back to 2016 when the commission became the first government agency to use the bureau’s online self-assessment tool (SAT). Arabi praised NCC’s achievements in this regard, culminating in the agency’s recognition as the first to attain the Platinum Organization rating, surpassing expectations across nine domain areas.
Arabi emphasised the positive outcomes of previous joint initiatives, such as workshops and conferences focused on Distributed Ledger Technologies (the Blockchain), conducted in 2022 in Lagos and Abuja. The MoU, he posited, offers a unique opportunity to build on these successes and reinforce efforts to establish a robust public service framework. Arabi believed that this collaboration would contribute to a more effective federal system, marked by enhanced service delivery, transparency and a substantial reduction in corruption.
In a statement signed by the director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka, Arabi said that efforts to improve equitable and unhindered access to government information and services through the Federal Government’s scorecard for ranking websites of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are producing a direct impact on the socio-economic development of the country.
In closing, Arabi stated, “The MoU will also help in fostering of a high degree of cooperation between Federal and State governments in improving service delivery and addressing Transparency International Corruption Perception Index to significantly improved safe and secured environment that encourages economic growth and investment”. The partnership between NCC and BPSR holds the promise of ushering in a new era of digitised governance and enhanced public service delivery in Nigeria.