By Nwakaego Alajemba
Plateau State has been recognised as the Best State Government in Adoption of IT at the just ended eNigeria Conference, Exhibition and Award organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The event was declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari. with the theme: “Promoting a Digital Economy in an Era of Disruptive Technologies through Effective Regulations.’ The Keynote presentation was made by former anti-corruption czar and pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
Plateau State was commended for its efforts in steadily deploying technology to drive government services including its recent creation of an ICT agency with statutory backing to drive the state’s ICT agenda and also foster national and international agreements for the provision of ICT in the state.
The award came under the ‘Government Digital Services’ category with state recognised as a runner-up.
Plateau State ICT agenda
Plateau State Commissioner of Science and Technology, Hon. Dan Manjang, while expressing the gratitude of the state on behalf of Governor Simon Bako Lalong, said the state is planning to have a strategic policy to make the Plateau a hub of technology in northern Nigeria. He assured the NITDA and the federal government of the commitment of Plateau State to foster an ecosystem for science and technology to flourish.
Manjang who recently led Plateau State to the GITEX 2018 event in Dubai as part of Nigeria’s delegation under the auspices of the NITDA had affirmed the commitment of the state to ICT development.
In Dubai, inside the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) he told IT Edge News that Plateau State under Governor Lalong was pushing the agenda for youth, technology and entrepreneurship. GITEX is the 3rd largest ICT event in the world and attracts a delegation in excess of 184, 000 from more than 140 countries.
President Buhari commends NITDA
In his opening remarks, president expressed pleasure at the efforts made by the NITDA in effecting the Presidential Executive Order 003, mandating all MDAs to give preference to locally manufactured goods and services in their procurement of information technology services, in order to strengthen its implementation as well as provide clear policy directions.
His words: You may recall that in my address at last year’s event, I raised a number of issues relating to ICT’s role in fostering the digital economy in Nigeria, including the sector’s contribution of about 10% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the need for efforts to be made in enhancing this, especially in our efforts of diversifying the economy. I am pleased to note that this has been taken seriously and stakeholders’ efforts resulted in ICT emerging as one of the key performers of the second quarter of 2018 by recording 11.81% growth.”
NITDA committed to driving ICT goals
Host and convener of eNigeria and also Director-General/CEO of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami said the agency remains committed to driving the goals of the federal government and working within the framework of its mandate to build a digital economy as desired by the federal government.
His words: “eNigeria provides a platform for all the stakeholders to brainstorm on germane issues on the front burner of our nation’s ICT sector in order to proffer ingenious solutions.
“The e-Nigeria 2018 theme, “Promoting a Digital Economy in an Era of Disruptive Technologies Through Effective Regulations” is a response to the complex mix of digital opportunities, challenges and burdens, driven by the increasing influence of emerging technologies on commerce and society. The major goal of e-Nigeria 2018 is to accelerate the development and access to digital products and services to millions of Nigerian citizens, ultimately creating Africa’s largest single digital market by 2020.”
The 2018 eNigeria event, Nigeria’s flagship international conference, exhibition and awards, drew delegates from the public and private sectors of the economy and included top government functionaries that include the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu, Board Chairman, NITDA, Prof. Adeolu Akande, Executive Vice Chairman Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; and Managing Director of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), Mallam Abbas Masanawa.