The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has inaugurated the Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups, DT-TWGs, at all the Federal Public Institutions, (FPIs) in the country.
In his remark at the inauguration of the chairmen of the first phase of the groups., Dr Pantami averred that the DT-TWGs is part of Digital Governance Structure for the implementation of the Nigeria e-Government Master Plan, (Ne-GMP) and National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, (NDEPS.)
The Minister maintained that the DT-TWGs would serve as implementation instrument for a minimum of four pillars of the NDEPS, which are; Developmental Regulations, Service Infrastructure, Soft Infrastructure and Indigenous Content Promotion and Adoption.
He said, “On developmental Regulation, DT-TWGs will be required to ensure all ICT and digital technology related policies and regulations are adhered to by their organizations in a manner that enables national development. He stated that; “Service and Soft Infrastructure are critical to achieving appropriate deployment of Government Digital Services (GDS) and to strengthen public confidence in the use of digital technologies and services.”
While explaining the objectives of the Technical Working Groups, Dr Pantami argued that the DT-TWGs would support the Federal Government to develop citizens’ friendly digital mechanisms in support of service innovations and digital transformation for digital Nigeria. He added that; “DT-TWGs are required to give preference to indigenous digital solutions while making I.T. decisions in their respective organisations in line with Executive Orders 003 and 005 of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and in support of indigenous content promotion and adoption as stated in the NDEPS.”
The minster also tasked members of the Groups to build their capacities in three critical areas for them to carry out their responsibilities effectively. “There are three key capabilities that must be built to enable DT-TWGs members to take on digital transformation tasks. These capabilities are transformation management, innovation and technical capabilities. We would ensure that these capabilities are built for you to deliver your responsibilities,” he affirmed.
Earlier in his opening remarks, NITDA Director General, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, observed that for Nigeria to achieve a ‘whole-of-government’ initiative, there must be a shift in the culture of the public officers and the way e-Government and IT systems are being deployed.
Mallam Abdullahi stated that the responsibilities of DT-TWGs across the 129 federal public institutions that would be inaugurated are to play the role of advocates for the digital economy and digital transformation-related activities; advice the management on the adoption and utilization of digital technologies for business transformation and effective digital service delivery; guide automation and digitization of government business processes; provide support and guidance for initiation and implementation of IT projects.
Other responsibilities of the DT-TWGs according to the NITDA boss includes; to ensure alignment of IT and Government businesses; propose and implement initiatives to enhance Government Digital Services (GDS); ensure GDS and IT projects implementation is in compliance with the provisions of National Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), Nigeria e-Government Master Plan, IT Projects Clearance Policy and Guidelines, Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (Ne-GIF), Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA), Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and other National ICT and e-Government documents; develop and implement their organization’s ICT plans and Enterprise Architecture (EA) including solution architecture for IT deployment.
The DG noted that the Nigeria e-Government Master Plan and National Economy Policy and Strategy approvals have set clear directions for Government digital transformation in Nigeria, adding that NITDA will continue to take strategic steps to implement the two documents to the letter.
He said; “Globally, as a best practice, Enterprise Architecture is being used as a standard tool for implementing digital transformation plan and strategy. In the digital economy era, governments must envisage how digital technologies and processes can be translated into a scalable architecture prepared for short, medium and long term strategies. This is to reduce the complexity associated with digital transformation and accelerate the achievement of expected values from the deployment of IT systems, digital technologies and innovations.”
Mallam Abdullahi further state that the current silo situation in deployment of IT infrastructure is as a result of the fact that each Public Institution is good at deploying IT systems for each of its strategic initiative and specific service without recourse to a national IT architecture and interoperability framework that follows and ensures a pre-determined process and operating model for IT systems deployment across Public Institutions.
In his keynote address, the Country Director, Korea International Cooperation Agency, (KOICA), Woochan Chang, commended the ministry of Communications and Digital economy’s efforts aimed at actualising the objective of DT-TWGs which would lead to digital transformation.
While calling for more actions from government to elevate Nigeria global e-governance ranking, Mr Chan encouraged the technical group to be the champions of the groups in their respective Ministries, Departments and Agency, (MDAs)
He remarked that KOICA would continue to work extensively with the Ministry and NITDA to advance the development of Nigeria capacity in e-Governance and implementation of e-Government Master Plan.
The highlights of the event were the unveiling and launching of the Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture’s portal and presentation of awards to some outstanding federal public institutions.