A lecturer with
Sangmyung University, South Korea, Prof. Hung Kook-Park, has urged the Federal Government to earmark one per cent of the annual budget to implementation of e-government and ICT.
He made the call in Seoul while presenting a paper entilled, “Master Plan for Nigeria e Government 2020,’’ at a stakeholder’s conference on capacity building of e-Government for Nigerian civil servants.
A total of 30 Nigerian civil servants are currently undergoing capacity building training in South Korea on e-Government.
Kook-Park said the Nigerian Federal Government had to create special fund for building and promotion of e-Government and ICT projects in order to ensure its success.
The lecturer said from 2000 to date, the South Korean government earmarked one per cent of its annual budget for the development of e-government and ICT.
He said Korea had sustained investments in e-Government and ICT-related issues for over a decade, which led to successful implementation of e-Government in that country.
The expert said that for Nigeria to achieve its vision 20: 2020, the master plan of Nigeria’s e-Government being developed by South Korean government should be adopted as national agenda for the country.
He said Nigeria should establish appropriate institutions for the implementation of each phase of e-Government and its master plan to ensure the achievement of Vision 20: 2020.
He advised the Federal Government to also establish a Presidential and Supervisory Committee on ICT/e-Government implementation to streamline support structures in the country.
Kook-Park said ICT agencies such as the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and others should be engaged in more field works.
He added that while government handled e-Government policy making, it should partner with ICT companies to provide technology and skills, as well as promote citizens’ participation.
The ICT expert said government must put all necessary measures and policies in place to avoid rejection or protest by the management of public officers for the fear of workforce reduction.
He said Nigeria could only achieve its vision 20: 2020 through total implementation of e-Government by integrating all institutions to have e Finance, e-Customs, e-Procurement and e-Agriculture.
He explained that in 2014, Nigeria was ranked 19 out of top 20 E-Government Development Index (EGDI) countries in Africa with lower EGDI of 0.2929.
The lecturer said the UN E-Government Development Index in 2012 ranked Nigeria 162 and in 2014, it ranked 141 among 193 countries by e-readiness and e-government.
It had been projected that Nigeria might rank 75 by 2016 and rank 50th in 2018 and 20th in 2020 to achieve vision 20: 2020.
“Nigeria has made significant progress for online service. However, the country has not fully reached transactional and network stage.
“The purpose of the master plan for Nigeria e -Government is to strengthen transparency, efficiency and the quality of public administration service in line with Vision 20:2020
“This figure exceeds, by a wide margin, the number of complaints recorded about the same time last year which was 338,” he said.
According to him, the increase was made possible with the adoption of new methods in the commission’s investigations and application of modern information technology.
FG Trains 10,000 Women, PWDs On ICT
Over 10,000 women, including Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) have been trained by the Federal Government on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve national productivity.
The ICT Director, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Mr Morrison Udobong, disclosed this at the closing ceremony of a five-day entrepreneurial training for the blind, deaf and hard of hearing in Abuja, recently.
Udobong said that the training was also a strategy to empower and end gender based violence in the country.
He noted that although ICT was male dominated, there was the need to encourage more women, particularly girls to engage in science and ICT based subjects, and consider a future in technology.
He explained further that the training was also to expose Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to ICT, enable them integrate well in the society and promote access to healthcare and other services.
“Over the years, we have trained over 10,000 women on various ICT courses and feedback from monitoring officers showed they are all doing well in their chosen endeavours.
“During this programme, participants with disabilities were exposed to various computer aided and adaptive technologies required to educate, raise self esteem, integrate and empower them to be useful and productive in their endeavours,” he said.
Director-General, NCWD, Dr Asabe Vilita-Bashir, who threw more light on the training, said that about 65 blind and deaf women across the country graduated from the training.
“This is aimed at exposing the participants to various ICT applications, tools and techniques which have the potential to make significant improvement in the lives of persons with disabilities.
“This allows participants to enhance their social, cultural, political and economic integration in communities by enlarging the scope of activities available to them”, she said.
Vilita-Bashir noted that the training would also empower rural women economically and make them more productive and self-reliant.
“We will continue to advocate the rights and needs of persons with disabilities and foster the effective use of ICTs that are accessible, adaptive and affordable.
“ICT has now been recognised as the driving force and primary gadget for almost all progressive knowledge-based and skills-oriented development activities and initiatives in all spheres of human endeavor.
“ICT is the catalyst for change in working conditions, handling and exchanging of information, teaching methods, learning approaches, scientific research and in accessing information,” she added.
Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Adebiyi Olufunsho, stressed the need for the society to acknowledge the challenges of PWDs and accommodate them.
Also, Ms Anne Mukudi, representing African Development Bank, encouraged participants to use the skills and knowledge acquired to develop themselves and feature in the ICT world.
President, National Association of Blind, Abuja chapter, Mr Joseph Agada, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for supporting PWDs and appealed for more employment for members.
Ms Uche Andrew, who spoke on behalf of the participants, assured the government that they would make judicious use of the laptops and skills acquired to further develop themselves on ICT.
“Before now, we used to see, feel and hear about laptops without knowing how to operate it, but this training has given us the required skills to be self reliant, able to use and access information from it”, she said.
Innovators Canvass Support For ICT Start-Ups
Innovators under the aegis of Technology Ecosystem Dialogue (TED) have canvassed funding and support for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) start-ups to promote digital job creation in the country.
TED, led by the founder, Young Innovators of Nigeria (YIN), Mr. Abu Andrew, said the government’s intervention would curb insecurity and idleness among youths.
While acknowledging that the Federal Government has been making efforts on diversification of the economy, the innovators said there’s more to be done to encourage start-ups and SMEs.
The innovators made this known during an interactive session on ‘Technology Policies: A Catalyst for Sustainable Job Creation’.
They urged the government to prioritise support for innovation hubs and ICT and green tech development-based advocacy organisations.
The innovators further enjoined the government to interface regularly through consultation with the tech ecosystem before far-reaching policies are implemented.
They demanded that government invest and set the appropriate framework for the development of the green economy sub-sector, noting that there are prospects of over five million emerging new jobs.
“The youths of this region are reputed to be ingenious, hence the need to channel this ingenuity to productive purposes for the common good.
“Initiatives such as this will contribute to reducing cybercrime by winning over practitioners and turning them into innovators,” they said.
Participants at the event include: founder, Network of Incubators and Innovators in Nigeria (NINe) and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre, Bankole Oloruntoba, and President/CEO, High-Tech Centre for Women and Youth in Nigeria, Dr (Mrs.) Wunmi Hassan.
Police Lobby For CCTV In Stations
As Information and Communication Technology (ICT) continues to penetrate all sectors of the economy, the Nigerian Police have said that planting Circuit Cable Television (CCTV) in all police stations across the country will enhance better policing.
Some Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), who pleaded to be anonymous made this known in an exclusive chat with The Tide in Port Harcourt at the weekend.
They said erecting CCTV in all the police stations would be of immense help to the security agencies in view of its impacts in checking insecurity in the country.
They recalled how the CCTV at Lekki Toll Gate aided in tracking some of the suspects of the Lekki shooting during the #EndSARS protest, last year.
One of the DPOs said the presence of CCTV at police station would assist the police in tracking down criminals on time, adding that some criminals get away with their act due to the absence of recording devices.
He explained that ICT tools were needed in all the police stations in order to meet up with the modern challenges in security.
Another DPO in the state who is also a lawyer, appealed to well meaning Nigerians to partner with the Police and assist the government in realising the project.
He described security as everyone’s business that does not need to be left in the hands of government alone.
He pointed out that until private and corporate organisations consider security as top priority, the idea of using modern tools like CCTV in policing may not be achieved due to its high financial involvement.
By: King Onuwhor
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