FG Tasks Perm Secs, Directors, Others Over ICT

The federal government has tasked all permanent secretaries, directors and other management staff of civil service to step up their efforts in building capacity of its entire workforce on effective application of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in discharging their duties.

The head of civil service of the federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, who gave this charge at the first national conference on outsourcing organised by the of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), yesterday in Abuja, said there was need to promote the e-government drive.

Represented by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Dere Awosika, the Head of Service said: “Officers should be encouraged to communicate their non-confidential documents, letters, minutes of meetings, requests for proposals, etc., between and among themselves through their secured official website (www.(mda).gov.ng) and then with the public, until sufficient skills are acquired enough to position them to depend solely on ICT tools in transacting government business.”

Prof. Afolabi, however, stated that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan was committed to providing an enabling environment to drive efficient and effective services in the conduct of government business.

In his address, the director-general of NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Angaye, disclosed that over 100,000 graduates would be employed annually in the next three years through the digitisation of government data in the ministries, agencies and parastattals (MDAs).

According to the minister, the government was aware that “an outsourcing industry, enabled by the will and partnership of the public sector, would create over 500,000 jobs in the next few years.”

Explaining how the federal government would deliver more than 100,000 jobs annually, the NITDA boss said that there were so many areas in which excellent service intervention was required in government operations to drive efficiency and create jobs within the public sector.

“For example, the digitis- ation of government data in the MDAs is a monumental task which must be undertaken for the eventual and seamless implementation of the next phase of our e-government program.

“Such a task alone would require the employment of over 100,000 graduates annually for the next three years. You may be wondering how this figure is obtained. It is simple.

There are over 400 MDAs in the federal government. Each MDA would require the services of over 10 information technology staff for just the digitisation of all the files and documents in their registries.

“If about 25 states follow the example of the federal government, we would have employed 100,000 graduates working for Nigeria information technology services companies by next year.”