By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu has said 80% of the country’s public services will be digitalized by 2018 in an effort to bring speed and efficiency to Nigeria’s notoriously slow public service.
Shittu while speaking recently at the Indo –African ICT Expo which was held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos said a good number of key public services already leverage on ICTs for their delivery.
“As we endeavour to promote the use of ICT in the country, we are working towards having at least 80% of all our public services provided through digital platforms by 2018,” he said.
He said the Ministry of Communications had expanded the Open Government Data Portal which is a part of the Federal Government Open Data Initiative and over 60 civil servants have been trained across Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) on the use of the portal.
Additionally, he informed that using the 1-gov.net platform, the government has been able to save 30% of what it would have expended on a unit per unit cost.
The 1-gov.net platform is created to consolidate the existing government infrastructure into a common platform and it enables MDAs to exchange data in a seamless manner while allowing each agency to remain independent and maintain its privacy and the security of its operatives.
“As at date, 90% of all MDAs within Abuja are linked with fibre backbone and 3500 locations of different MDAs have been touched across the country. Over 270 MDAs websites and applications are being hosted on the network,” he said.
“Government is supporting the development and sustenance of ICT applications that are driving cost effectiveness and transparency in government service delivery. applications supporting the Treasury Single Accounts (TSA), IPPIS, Budget Portal and BVN verifications among others are already resulting in huge savings,” he added.
Shittu also informed that an approach of using the development of State ICT Policies to foster the growth of the ICT sectors in the various states has been adopted and ICT policies have been developed for over thirteen states out of the country’s 36 states.
According to the minister, efforts are on to expand the number of data centres in the country and government is about to commission its tier three certified data centre, which is the highest certification for any data centre in Abuja.