FG Launches National Digital Economy Policy

Joseph Bakare

President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the National Digital Economy Policy, initiated by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

The unveiling was performed during the e-Nigeria Conference, Exhibition and Awards 2019 at the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja.

As part of key requirements of the e-government master plan, the President has directed government institutions, “to create a digital transformation technical working group that will work with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to ensure seamless and coordinated implementation of projects, programmes and policies”

He said that the Nigeria e-government interoperability framework, Enterprise Architecture and the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation are in place and all Ministries, Departments and Agencies are expected to comply with these policies.

President Buhari directed the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to develop training and sensitization programmes that will be rolled out across all key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure seamless implementation of the master plan.

He reiterated that, the digitalization of key activities such as the Bank verification number (BVN), Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) has enabled government to save cost and fight corruption.

The President posited that the second quarter report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for 2019, showed that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, contributed an impressive 13.85% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria. This clearly shows the importance and potential of the ICT sector to the job creation and economic diversification agenda of his administration.

In his words, “Nigerian ICT startups are leaving their mark on the global stage. At the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), a Nigerian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Solutions Provider, Chiniki Guard, beat 750 contestants from 76 countries to clinch the number one spot. We shall continue to encourage and support such digital entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions for local and global challenges”.

President Buhari recalled his directive to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at the e-Nigeria 2018 Conference that all government funded ICT projects must be reviewed and cleared by the Agency, and this implementation of this directive  has saved over 16.8 billion naira for the Federal Goverment.

Earlier, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), called on stakeholders across the country to support the Federal Government in achieving a digital economy by 2023.

The Minister said the administration of President Buhari which is focused on economy diversification, ensuring security and fighting corruption, will leverage on deploying Information Communications Technology (ICT) in achieving the set agenda.

He said delivering a digital economic country prompted the president to recently change the portfolio of the Ministry of Communications to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

“We are working on development regulations, digital integration, building solid infrastructure, deployment of emerging technologies, as well as local content promotion and we want all hands on deck,” Pantami said.

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