President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will continue to take advantage of digital technologies to transform every sector of the economy.
He started this in Abuja while inaugurating the Presidential Council on Digital Economy and E-government.
The President tasked members of the council to work towards further strengthening the capacity of government to develop, adopt and deploy digital technologies to make government more efficient and transparent, thereby improving Nigeria’s global standing in the ease of doing business index.
He noted that the council, whose members have been arrived at after a painstaking and thorough process, would provide the oversight needed to bring about a veritable structure for accelerating achievements in digital economy and in the implementation of e-government.
The President enjoined members of the Council to consider the task as a national assignment and justify the trust reposed in their ability to support and significantly enhance the digital transformation of Nigeria.
He said the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, in 2019, and expansion of the mandate of the then Ministry of Communications to include Digital Economy had brought significant progress and a number of unprecedented achievements.
President Buhari expressed delight that the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions had helped to formalise government online meetings.
He said Nigeria’s progress in e-governance had been noted by the international community, eliciting recognition from international stakeholders, including the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as the Chairman of the 2022 Forum of the highly regarded World Summit of the Information Society.
While congratulating the Minister, the President acknowledged that the Ministry had partnered with the Korea International Co-operation Agency to develop a National E-government Master Plan, approved by FEC in August 2019.
He listed benefits from the partnership to include training of over 1,400 Nigerian public servants in both Nigeria and South Korea on e-governance, the launching of an E-Government Training Centre, handed over to the Federal Government in 2019, and the signing-off of Phase II of the E-government Project for Building Foundations Towards Digital Governance in Nigeria, 2020-2026.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Fantami, had noted that the launch of NDEPS made provision for the establishment of the Presidential Council to co-ordinate the development of an indigenous digital economy.
He said the recent auctioning of spectrums by the Ministry generated over 400 percent revenue to the Federal Government coffers, while two virtual institutions established by government had trained some 500,000 Nigerians on digital and emerging technologies.
The 27-man committee, chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Fantami, on behalf of President Buhari, has Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Governors of Gombe, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Edo, Lagos, and Imo, as members.
Others are the Ministers of Finance, Industry, Trade and Investment, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited.
The rest are Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, and the Director General, National Identity Management Commission.