The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA’s maiden edition of the digitisation hangout with the Digital Transformation Technical Working Group (DTTWG) members and the tech ecosystem held recently, was no less than successful and impactful.
The hangout was particularly aimed at pushing for value co-creation between the Government and its key stakeholders.
According to the Director-General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Oniwa Abdullahi, in his address at the event, NITDA has ostensibly made substantial progress in the last five years towards digital transformation.
Ranging from the embarkment of series of initiatives to drive the adoption of e-Government, digitisation of government processes, and enhancement of the country’s maturity in digital capabilities to match the realities of the global digital economy.
These initiatives are regulatory, developmental and are ultimately geared towards building a solid foundation for digital economy development and a proudly digital Nigeria of our dreams.
It can be recalled that Nigeria e-Government Master Plan (NeGMP) was approved and launched by the Federal Executive Council on May 24, 2019, to drive e-Government adoption in Nigeria.
Similarly, the Federal Government launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) at the e-Nigeria Conference, Exhibitions, and Awards opening ceremony on November 28, 2019, as an overarching policy for the digitalisation of the Nigerian economy.
Again, NITDA recently launched its Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP) 2021-2024 to refocus its priorities in line with the NDPEPS.
The DG also said that SRAP which is built on 7 pillars, with one dedicated to digital transformation has set a clear direction for the digital transformation of government services.
Accordingly, Abdullahi stated that NITDA believes that the realization of the objectives of these documents, requires appropriate human capabilities to ensure effective implementation.
This puts the competence and ability of professional public servants to utilise digital technologies at the forefront of the digital transformation agenda.
Also, the Agency has over time proven to recognize the role and responsibility of enabling a conducive environment for cooperation between the government and the technology ecosystem for the digital transformation initiatives to succeed.
The NITDA boss noted that In Nigeria, it is expected that there will be a drastic surge in digital transformation initiatives in the public sector in the coming years to keep up with the pace as the world is experiencing a sudden digital shift.
As reported by Statista, in 2020, the global digital transformation spending was $1.31 trillion from $1.18 trillion in 2019. It is projected that, by 2022, the spending will reach 1.78 trillion.
Another research by the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that direct digital transformation investments will total $6.8 trillion between
2020 and 2023.
Similarly, the report confirmed that 65% of the world’s GDP is set to be digitalised by 2022, and 70% of all organisations globally will have accelerated their use of digital technologies.
This suggests a transformation in existing business processes and models to drive customer engagement, employee productivity, and business resiliency.
Consequently, the growth in digital transformation has been further accelerated by several other contributing factors that are awakening the world’s consciousness and reemphasising the importance of digital technologies.
Among these was the recent COVID-19 pandemic that hit the whole world. Social distancing and contactless interactions became the order of the day, as remote working became the new normal.
Specifically, these circumstances considerably increased the digital transformation tempo around the globe in 2020 along with other contributing factors like customer or citizen demand and expectations.
Abdullahi further noted during his speech that digital transformation has rendered countries and organisations more agile in responding to an unknown and frequently changing phenomenon, making them more resilient.
As the focus on operational efficiency intensifies, tech-enabled automation will become a key priority, reshaping our processes and operations in the public sector.
NITDA, as the apex IT regulatory Agency and one of the leading drivers of the digital economy, has been preparing the FPIs for the digital transformation journey.
One of the critical steps the Agency has taken is to propose the appropriate implementation structure to drive the digital transformation journey across FPIs.
With utmost pleasure, the DG disclosed that the implementation structure has been established through the formation of Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups (DTTWGs).
The DTTWG was formed and inaugurated in about 100 FPIs by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on August 27, 2020.
DTTWG according to the NITDA leader, is charged with the responsibilities of playing the role of advocacy for the digital economy and digital transformation-related activities, advising the management of the respective FPI’s on the adoption and utilisation of digital technologies for business transformation and effective digital service delivery, guiding automation and digitisation of government business processes and providing support, guidance for the initiation and implementation of IT projects
Not left out, the Agency is to ensure the alignment of government businesses and IT, propose and implement initiatives to enhance Government Digital Services (GDS) and consequently, ensure GDS and IT projects implementation compliance with the provisions of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), Nigeria e-Government Master Plan, IT Projects Clearance Policy and Guidelines, Nigeria e-Government Interoperability Framework (Ne-GIF), Nigeria Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA), Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and other National ICT/e-Government documents.
The DTTWG was also charged with the coordination, the development and implementation of their organisational ICT plans and Enterprise Architecture (EA), including solution architecture for IT deployment, perform any other functions that the Federal Government may assign through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and in line with the provision of NITDA Act, 2007.
In the same regard, the Agency also ensured that the composition of DT-TWG of each FPI consists of 10 members cutting across strategic departments with at least two (2) persons from the IT/ICT/e-Government department and three other persons from core business departments of the FPI’s.
The composition according to Abdullahi, is to confirm that the core business and the IT people cooperate and develop their capability to manage digital transformation projects successfully.
Meanwhile, the criteria of membership of the DT-TWG’s mandates that the Group shall be chaired by the Director/Head of ICT/IT/e-Government except where there is no such designation.
The Chief Executives are at liberty to choose the leader of the Group.
After the inauguration, the Honourable Minister directed the Chairmen to work with their CEOs to ensure the Group is inaugurated in their organisations according to the criteria given by NITDA.
NITDA has clearly worked with these FPIs to ensure the criteria were used for the membership. Our next responsibility was to build the capacity of the Group.
The organised training that lasted for a month in which Four Hundred) members were and Forty-Two (442 certified.
During the speech, the DG added that another milestone has been achieved by the NITDA following the creation of a platform for bringing together the DT-TWG members and the key players in the technology industry.
With the hope that the engagement will foster cooperation between the DTTWGs and technology industry players and provide a platform where experiences, achievements, and challenges will be shared.
In his words, “We are optimistic that this will also be a platform for constructive stakeholders’ inputs and buy-in and ultimately a medium for rights decisions and devising feasible strategies towards improving digital transformation maturity in the public sector”.
Conclusively, the NITDA Director commended and appreciated the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, for his support and commitment to transforming the public sector and the Nigerian economy by promoting digital technologies and innovations.
Likewise, he acknowledged all the dignitaries present, the entire chairmen of DT-TWGs and the key players from the technology industry for taking out their time to honour the digitisation hangout invitation.
In his summary, “It is my sincere belief that our ability to co-create effectively will enable market-creating innovations that will drastically change the landscape of Government Digital Service (GDS) in Nigeria for the benefit of all. I wish you a successful deliberation.
I anticipate your recommendations that will foster and see the emergence of a highly competitive digital transformation of our dreams in the public sector for a digital Nigeria.
Thank you and God bless”.