By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari says Federal Government’s leveraging on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the enforcement of Bank Verification Number (BVN) has saved the nation of N24.7 billion monthly.
The president disclosed this when he declared open the 2017 eNigeria Conference, organised by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on Tuesday.
The president also revealed that the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) had eliminated ghost workers and reduced waste, thereby saving the nation N20 billion monthly.
He said that the consolidation of 20,000 accounts had saved the nation N4.7 billion.
According to him, the TSA policy has also facilitated transparency, accountability and ease of transactions and payments between government and businesses as well as government and citizens.
“We have done a lot to transform our government, especially in the areas of strategy, policies and digital infrastructure investments.
“You may recall that on assumption of office, we enforced the policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA). Today, we are all witnesses to the impact it has made on our financial management.
“We have so far consolidated over 20,000 accounts, resulting into about N4.7 billion monthly savings.
“In addition, the policy facilitated transparency, accountability and ease of transactions and payments between government and businesses as well as government and citizens.
“Another initiative leveraging on ICT and making huge impact on the economy is the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN).
“Its implementation has helped to eliminate the menace of ghost workers, thereby reducing waste in the system by saving government over N20 billion monthly.
President Buhari described his presence at the event as a demonstration of his commitment and strong belief in using ICT as a major driver of developmental governance and economic reform plans aimed at bringing about the true CHANGE his administration promised Nigerians.
According to him, ICT is strategic in driving productivity and efficiency in all sectors of the economy.
He noted that currently, almost all sectors of the nation’s economy leverage on ICT to increase efficiency, productivity and performance.
President Buhari commended NITDA’s efforts on fostering the patronage of indigenous IT products and services through continuous engagement with indigenous OEMs, relevant stakeholders and other laudable initiatives.
He observed that ICT played a pivotal role with agencies of government such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
He stated that the affected agencies had leaned on ICT in improving public service delivery in an efficient and transparent manner.
“So far, 31 reforms have been completed by the council and these reforms are already making noticeable impact on our economic diversification efforts.
“The Agency’s efforts at enforcing Federal Government’s directive on ensuring that all ICT projects in the country are cleared by it before implementation are highly commendable.
“These efforts will ensure that government’s ICT procurement is transparent.
“It is aligned with government’s IT-shared vision and policy, save costs through promotion of shared services, avoid duplication, ensure compatibility of IT systems, thereby improving efficiency across government and enforce the patronage of indigenous companies.’’
The president expressed the hope that the conference would come up with practical, viable solutions and recommendations to further develop local content in ICT as well as how it could best regulate the deployment and use of ICT systems to foster a digital economy in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president used the opportunity of the conference to express displeasure over refusal of some heads of government’s ministries, agencies and departments to wear the Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem.
He noted that very few of dignitaries at the conference wore the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day emblem, which he inaugurated on Wednesday.
He urged all heads of ministries, departments and agencies to wear the emblem with pride, to encourage the legionnaires as well as families of those who paid the supreme price for the unity of the nation.
Buhari said the emblem launch was a worthy tradition of recognizing and appreciating the sacrifices of the veterans in the First and Second World Wars, Nigerian Civil War and Peace Support Operations around the world.
The three-day conference has as theme: “Fostering Digital Economy through Local Content Development and Effective Regulations.” (NAN)