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NITEC, Digitization & ‘Servants of The People’

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Shortly after he assumed office as the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adeabyo Shittu, shared the deep sense of urgency the Federal Government feels for implementation e-Government Master Plan by 2020, which is a key blueprint for improving the delivery of public sector services using technology.

The e-Government Master Plan developed by the Federal Ministry of Communications is such a compendium of an essential blueprint of modalities and protocols for the adoption of e-Government best practices, across the Federal Civil Service.

Under the plan, all Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are embracing the e-Government Plan, the Minister said.

“I must, most earnestly, share with you the deep sense of urgency that I, and the entire Ministry of Communications, feel as per the importance of the e-Government Master Plan 2020”, Shittu told attendees at the Stakeholders Engagement Workshop on e-Government Master Plan 2020.

Yes, such transformation drive will engender an information-rich government while invoking new contractor agreement between the Government and the citizens on clear principles for further digitization of government, in particular for Services provided to citizens and businesses.

The immediate gains we expect are such as compulsory adoption of e-invoicing for government departments, e-procurement, and social rights and tariffs will be granted automatically. At that point social justice would have returned and government would have curried public flavor too. We are all witnesses how TSA is delivering the country from the shackles of graft, corruption and perpetual embezzlements in the past

Therefore and with the topic as “what the digitalization of government and public sectors means for the eco-system”, NITEC 2016 shares the Minister’s position because the government and its agencies have come under intense scrutiny and are realizing that technology is helping citizens hold them more accountable.

What will be the new economy that will be created as a result of digitalizing only 30% of Nigeria’s public sector?

According to KPMG documentation on the subject, it was pointed out that the digital transformation of government is not only a great challenge but also a great opportunity for taking a great leap forward. The expectation in this era signifies “The government has to provide the same or even better services to citizens and businesses, but with less resources. As a result, the focus has been put on administrative simplification, more efficient procedures, and combating fraud. The ‘Only Once’ principle offers the government the possibility of achieving those objectives’ (KPMG).

The document also described the ‘Servant of the People’ principle as the power of integrity in politics and government.

In Nigeria, we have heard of public office holders referring themselves to ‘Chief Servant’ or what have you, but this is basically who holds’ position, paid or unpaid, in the public sector’. Technology of this nature aids office holders to be more responsive, proactive and interactive; serving the purpose of their ‘calling’, and they must handle this power with integrity.

But how can they do this? Muel Kaptein, Partner at KPMG Advisory NV and professor in business ethics and integrity management at the RSM Erasmus University in Rotterdam, is the author of “The Servant of the People: the power of integrity in politics and government” in which he offers insight and practical assistance for officials in the public sector. The central message is that there is great power in integrity for servants of the people which is primarily guaranteed by transparent nature of technology.

NITEC is such a platform that will aptly provide the needed e-governance latitude with key deliverables of improving public sector delivery of the dividends of good governance to the people of Nigeria through the using of new information and communication technologies (ICTs).

For instance, stakeholders ought to be on same page on how to tackle the complicities in .ng domain registration by States and local government. Or how can one describe the low acceptance of the Nigeria’s internet domain name, .ng largely due to nonchalant of the authorities on policy formation. With the population of Nigeria within the range of 170m, with less than 100,000 domains registration in NiRA’s database.

It was found that digital transformations require changes, to both processes and IT systems that are more challenging to implement in the public sector than in the private sector. Thus, a joint study by McKinsey and Oxford University found that public-sector IT projects requiring business change were six times more likely to experience cost overruns and 20 percent more likely to run over schedule than such projects in the private sector.

Regardless of where a public-sector organization is in its digitization journey, there are impeccable reasons to start, scale, or evaluate its programs. Tentatively, giving in e-governance rings a win for government-wide and agency-deep commitment to specific digital targets; establish government-wide coordination of IT investments; leading to redesign processes with the end user in mind; hire and nurture the right talent; use big data and analytics to improve decision making, and protect critical infrastructure and confidential data.

These will eliminate what Chris Uwaje, the doyen of Software in Nigeria calls, “Match-Box Vision”, following incoherent manner of policy formulation and implementation.

The relevance of discussions slated for NITEC 2016 cannot be overemphasized, especially the nation’s economy is in tatters due to over dependent on oil. Oil can drive, but innovations driven by technology evolve daily.

Holding at Civic Centre, Lagos from 23rd-24th of June, NITEC 2016 remains a formidable to bridge the gap between the private and public sectors and the international technology community in re-engineering the African technological ecosystem for greater impact on the continent’s GDP.

Likewise, through plenary sessions and exhibitions the worth of our technology system will be showcased to thousands of attendees; exhibition booth (2 days); placement of brand logo on event brochure and website; complimentary wifi, place web banners and share branded gifts at booths.

The renowned speakers will spark deepened conversation and help through up new innovations that will help Nigeria and indeed, Africa, on digitization. Be there!


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Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Court Dismisses Base Stations Lawsuit Against ATC, MTN

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ATC Nigeria, a subsidiary of American Tower Corporation, and MTN Nigeria scored a major victory in court last week over constructing or operating base transceiver stations “within close proximity” to stations owned by IHS Towers Nigeria.

The lawsuit against the two had been filed by non-profit organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, in November 2023.

Additionally, HEDA also filed a contempt of court case against ATC Nigeria’s CEO, Errol Ambler-Smith, seeking his arrest, which HEDA later withdrew.

ATC Nigeria announced that on Friday, June 21, 2024, the court struck out HEDA’s suit against ATC Nigeria and MTN Nigeria on the grounds that it was speculative and failed to disclose any reasonable cause of action.

American Tower said it has “always been and remains committed to upholding” the highest standards of legal compliance and operational integrity in all its activities.

“We are pleased that the court recognised the speculative nature of HEDA’s lawsuit, and we are hopeful that this outcome will send a message to other similar potential speculative lawsuits. We appreciate the support and understanding of all our stakeholders as we continue to invest in, and provide critical infrastructure for, Nigeria’s telecommunications industry,” ATC Nigeria said in a statement.


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Airtel Boosts Sickle Cell Awareness with CrimsonBow Initiative Collaboration

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In commemoration of this year’s World Sickle Cell Day, Airtel Nigeria partnered with the CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative to host a well-attended sickle cell awareness and clinic over the weekend, at Dansol Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos.

The event which aimed at improving sickle cell education and supporting individuals living with sickle cell disease, featured free counselling for sickle cell patients, free medical testing, drug dispensing, and sensitization sessions to educate the public about the sickle cell disease.

Through the partnership, much-needed support and resources were provided to affected individuals while promoting early detection and proper management of the condition.

Commenting on the involvement of Airtel in the program, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja, emphasized Airtel’s dedication to good health as part of the telecommunication company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals.

“We are proud to partner with CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative in this important endeavour, as it reflects our commitment to corporate social responsibility and improving community health outcomes. The goal of this partnership is to provide crucial support to individuals living with sickle cell disease and to help raise awareness about the condition.

“Through this partnership, we strongly hope to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative, Timi Edwin, expressed gratitude to Airtel. In her remarks, “This partnership with Airtel Nigeria allows us to extend our reach and provide essential services to more individuals living with sickle cell disease. We appreciate Airtel Nigeria for their support in making this event possible.”

Airtel Nigeria has continued to reinforce its position as an organization committed to the well-being of the society through various corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Asides initiative partnerships like this to combat the challenges faced by individuals living with sickle cell disease, they continue to make strides under several CSR initiatives, contributing to the overall effort to enhance the general wellness of Nigerians.

 


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Tinubu appoints Tunji Bello as CEO of FCCPC

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President Bola Tinubu has appointed Olatunji Bello as the new Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice-Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday, noted that the appointment is pending confirmation by the Senate.

He said that the President expects that the new Chief Executive Officer of this important agency will ensure the holistic realization of the Commission’s mandate of protecting and promoting the interest and welfare of Nigerian consumers and ensuring the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety and quality of goods and services.

Bello, who is a lawyer, administrator, and renowned journalist, is the former secretary to the Lagos State Government and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos.

“He studied Law at the same university and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002,” the statement read.

“Bello began his career in journalism at the Concord Newspapers in 1985 and held the positions of Group Political Editor; Sunday Concord Editor, and Editor, National Concord.

“He is a winner of the US Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship and was appointed the Chairman, Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers in 2001.

“He also served as Commissioner for Environment under various administrations in Lagos State.


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