The Federal Government of Nigeria has formally launched the National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions while also commissioning an Emergency Communications Centre and four more Digital Economy Centres across the country.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami in his address, disclosed that all “Digital Economy projects are carefully thought out and executed efficiently with a view to ensure the sustainable growth of Nigeria’s Digital Economy”.
Pantami noted that the Paradigm shift to virtual engagements in official circles globally, occasioned by the COVID 19 Pandemic, necessitated the need for a policy to give legal impetus to the practice in public institutions. “The Policy which was approved by the Federal Executive Council on the 14th October 2020 was developed in collaboration with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
Speaking further, Pantami noted that the Policy will “institutionalise frameworks and standards within Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of governments as well as government -owned companies using virtual engagement as an administrative procedure in service and significantly reduce the cost of governance”.
In line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, the facilities commissioned under the auspices of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will enhance security, create digital jobs, promote knowledge-based economic growth, increase productivity and enhance commercial and administrative methods.
The Minister reiterated government’s commitment to ensure that no part of the country is left out in the the digitalisation process as already, all states of the federation are benefitting from various Digital Economy projects.
On hand to support the Digital Economy drive were Senator Obinna Ogbo representing the Chairman Senate Committee. On Communications, Chairman Senate Committee on ICT and CyberCrimes Senator Yakubu Oseni,Honourable Minister of state for works and Housing Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, Honorable Minister of state for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogar, representative of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Uwem Ekpo, CEOs of Parastatals and Agencies under the Ministry’s purview among others.
The Emergency Communications Centre is located in Akure, the Ondo state capital, while the Digital Economy Centres are domiciled in Delta State University Abraka, Government Secondary School, Rigasa, Kaduna state and Federal University Gashua, Yobe state. This brings to a total of sixty four completed and fully functional projects commissioned under the leadership of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.