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Nigeria: FG Saved N119 Billion in Two Years With ICT Deployment
Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201307291591.html
Source Date: Monday, July 29, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: Nigeria
Created: Jul 29, 2013

The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, has revealed the federal government saved about N119 billion through the deployment of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). Johnson, in her keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 11th International Conference of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) in Iloko Ijesha in Osun State, said her ministry was able to turnaround the industry in just two years of its existence by focusing on ICT in government as one of its four pillars of focus.

While lamenting the recent international ranking, where Nigeria was rated 123 out of 144 surveyed countries with an aggregate score of 3.02 out of 7 in the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) for 2013, she explained that the ministry was focused on ICTs in government, by ensuring the use of ICTs to improve the transparency, efficiency and productivity in governance and citizen engagement.

The minister described e-government as the use of ICTs by government agencies to transform and improve the traditional government to business (G2B) and government to citizens (G2C) interactions.

"The increased transparency inherent in this model can also reduce corruption, grow revenues and significantly reduce costs. E-government therefore aims to make the interaction between government and citizens, government and business enterprises and inter-agency relationships (G2G) more friendly, convenient, transparent, and inexpensive," Johnson said. She said the Integrated Personnel & Payroll Information System (IPPIS), which is a key G2G service, gave much better news about the work that has been done in e-government.

"IPPIS has discovered about 46, 000 'ghost workers' and saved the government approximately N119 billion so far. 215 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government have been captured onto the IPPIS system and another 321 intended to be added by year end with more savings expected," the minister said.

She added: "The Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) manages the budget execution process and helps identify and address sources of leakage in budget execution. While only about 60 per cent of the federal budget was currently managed by the platform, GIFMIS has so far identified and recovered about N34 billion in illegal accounts. So IPPIS and GIFMIS are a clear demonstration of the transparency and cost reduction benefits of e-government."

Responding, Don Etiebet, one of the Lifetime Service awardees of NCS told the minister NCS remained a good platform for government to maximise profit, through the use of appropriate technologies. "The N119 billion saved by the federal government through the use of ICTs is just the beginning of huge savings the government could make in the use of ICTs," Etiebet said.

He called on government to give NCC the much needed support it deserves in driving technology development in the country. The NCS conference is the 11th of its international conferences with the theme: e-Government & National Security. Paper presentations at the conference by resource persons from within and outside Nigeria, were focused on e-government strategy and how it could be managed to promote development and create jobs in the country.
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