*Photo: Dr Abdullahi (4th right) and other participants at the workshop*
As the world becomes increasingly dependent on digital technologies, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), through the Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups (DT-TWGs), has commenced a 5-day workshop with seven Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) to enable seamless implementation of Nigeria’s e-Government Master Plan.
The Agency’s Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, represented by Director IT Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS), Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi, while declaring the workshop open, gave a background on the essence of the workshop.
He recalled that the Nigeria e-Government Master Plan (Ne-GMP) was approved and launched by the Federal Executive Council on the 24th of May 2019.He added that, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), unveiled and launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a digital Nigeria at the opening ceremony of the eNigeria Conference, Exhibitions and Awards on November 28, 2019.
According to Kashifu, these two documents set clear directions for Government digital transformation in Nigeria, which NITDA is taking strategic steps to implement. “To reduce the complexity associated with digital transformation and accelerate the achievement of expected values from the deployment of IT systems, digital technologies, innovations, and edge against the lack of strategic architecture, insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing, or effective project management, NITDA in 2018 and 2019 developed the Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (Ne-GIF) and Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA),” he said.
He noted that globally, the Enterprise Architecture (EA) is being utilised as a standard tool for implementing digital transformation plans and strategies. Inuwa said, “These documents form the foundation for taking government-wide IT deployment from silo-based to an integrated whole-of-government approach and ultimately an asset for digital government transformation.” He elaborated that the seven layers of NGEA, which are Business, Service, Data, Application, IT Infrastructure, Security, and Performance are centred around people and processes, with each layer having high-level expectations for FPIs, and as well specified best practices, standards, tools, reference models, and recommendations that will help achieve the value propositions and citizens’ expectations for government digital services.
Hence, he said, NITDA, under the directives of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has embarked on many initiatives such as the NGEA/Ne-GIF National Implementation Committee comprising of about 40 critical FPIs representatives and IT industry players to govern and advise on government-wide digitisation of processes and functions, phased assessment of IT systems, Digital Services, and Capabilities for 200 FPIs to establish AS-IS situation analysis, and provided capacity for over 448 DT-TWG members across the 100 FPIs inaugurated earlier, and several others, in line with implementing the e-Government Master Plan.
“Digital Transformation calls for a rethink in how public institutions do business and deliver public value and experience to customers. Transformation cannot happen effectively on the outside unless it happens on the inside”, he noted.
Consequently, NITDA have taken another step to establish Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups in 7 Federal Public Institutions with the following responsibilities and expectations; to play the role of advocates for the digital economy and digital transformation-related activities, advise their Management on 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.
The groups shall also ensure IT and Government business alignment, propose and implement initiatives to enhance Government Digital Services (GDS), ensure GDS and IT projects implementation is in compliance with the provisions of NDEPS, Ne-GMP, IT Projects Clearance Policy and Guidelines, Ne-GIF, NGEA, NDPR, and other National ICT/e-Government documents, develop and implement their organization ICT plan and Enterprise Architecture (EA) including solution architecture for IT deployment, and perform any other functions that may be assigned by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and in line with the provision of NITDA Act 2007.
He welcomed the participants and implored them to ensure active participation to harness the utmost ability during the workshop.