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Korea tasks FG on National eGovernment Master Plan

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[files] Buhari. Photo; TWITTER/NIGERIAGOV

The Country Director, Korea International Cooperation Agency in Nigeria, Woochan Chang, has tasked the Federal Government to proactively implement the National eGovernment Master Plan, to ensure digital transformation of the Nigerian economy.

Chang noted that the National eGovernment Master Plan is not just about the roadmap, but that its actual implementation will lead to the digital transformation that Nigeria wants to achieve.

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He spoke at the inauguration of Chairmen of Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups (DT-TWGs) for the Federal Public Institutions (FPIs), organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in Abuja.

He lauded NITDA for championing the course for the implementation of the Master Plan, stressing that in the recently published UN e-Government Survey for 2020, Nigeria lags behind, having ranked 141 out of 193 countries on the eGovernment Development Index, behind Ghana (101), and Mauritius (63), which have the highest rating in Africa.

Chang said: “With this challenging statistics, I will like to use this opportunity to call for more actions from the government that will elevate Nigeria’s ranking on the UN EGDI, particularly encouraging the DT-TWGs members, who will be inaugurated today, to be champions of digital transformation within their various MDAs,” he said.

He explained that DT-TWG members are expected to coordinate the implementation of the National eGovernment Master Plan, and the Nigerian Enterprise Architecture Framework, in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, and any other digital transformation-related activities in the public sector at the Federal level.

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According to him, the eGovernment Presidential Committee is a critical success factor necessary for governments’ digital transformation, and as such, the full activation of this committee is expected to provide the political will, strategic leadership, and commitment, essential for the full implementation of the National eGovernment Master Plan.”

While inaugurating the Committee, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, observed that in today’s digital economy era, governments must treat digital as an integral part of governance to succeed and compete globally; adding that the digital economy is fundamentally transforming the way the public sector operates and delivers services to customers.

He noted that the digital economy is developing at a remarkable rate, and has been widely accepted as the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness, and growth, and currently the highest driver of innovation and transformation in the public sector.

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Pantami argued that a digital economy requires, among others, adaptive policies, strategies, regulations, standardized infrastructure, globally competitive workforce, carefully orchestrated and coordinated digital governance structure, stressing that without appropriate digital governance, it becomes difficult for digital investments and implementation to meet strategic objectives and expectations.

He said: “The importance of appropriate governance is further substantiated in the research by the MIT Centre for Digital Business and MIT Sloan Management Review. The report declared that failures of IT projects to meet or exceed expectations of stakeholders are largely due to a lack of appropriate IT governance. Digital governance is key to managing digital transformation successfully.

“The failure of IT projects is also being experienced by a number of Federal Public Institutions (FPIs). This is largely due to the lack of an appropriate digital governance structure either at the individual organization level or government-wide.”

Pantami insisted that building capabilities are critical in carrying out responsibilities effectively, saying there are three key capabilities that must be built to enable DT-TWGs members to take on digital transformation tasks. They include transformation management, innovation, and technical capabilities, and promised to build these capabilities to enable the committee to deliver their responsibilities.

He observed that the inauguration is apt taking cognizance of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, and charged the committee to work hard with various institutions to ensure the success of digital transformation.

The Director-General, NITDA, Inuwa Abdullahi, said there is no better time to invest in the digital economy than now, and reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to Nigeria’s digital transformation.

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