Buhari directs ministries, agencies to go digital

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to comply with the ongoing transition of all government operations to digital platforms.

The President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said in a statement that Buhari gave the directive on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the e-NIGERIA 2019 conference on the Nigerian digital economy held at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.

Buhari said the transition to digital economy was no longer optional for the MDAs, but “an absolute necessity,’’ following the launch of the e-government master plan in May, which he said will drive and guide the process.

The transition, he said, will enhance efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery, and promote more inter-agency synergy.

The President said a directive in 2018 that all government funded information and communication technology (ICT) projects must be reviewed and cleared by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) saved the country over N16.8 billion.

“Our recent introduction of the Nigerian E-government Masterplan will further consolidate our successes to date and increase interoperability among the different Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

“A key requirement of the e-government Master plan is for all government institutions to create a Digital Transformation Technical Working Group that will work with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to ensure seamless and coordinated implementation of projects, programs and policies.

“Furthermore, the Nigerian e-Government Interoperability Framework, the Enterprise Architecture and the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation are in place and all Ministries, Departments and Agencies are expected to comply with these policies,” he said. 

Buhari said the digitisation of key operations in public service such as the use of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) has enabled the government to save cost and fight corruption.

He said the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy will develop training and sensitisation programmes that will be rolled out across all key MDAs with immediate effect to ensure seamless implementation of the master plan.

Buhari said the Ministry of Communications was re-designated Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to refocus on the emerging value of digitalisation all over the world with a mandate to develop and implement a harmonised and well-coordinated digital economy policy and strategy for Nigeria.

He warned that Nigerians however, have to be wary of the threats associated with the technology sector.

“Of course, as we celebrate the successes and explore the opportunities in this sector, we must remain mindful of its threats. We all know how the use of unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards by terrorists is a key national security threat.

“Today, I am informed that over 9.2 million SIM cards have either been normalized, blocked or deactivated in less than 40 days due to improper registration. We encourage all Nigerians to ensure that their phones are properly registered. As a government, our priority is to protect the lives and properties of all Nigerians,” he said. 

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