The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, has said that funding is plaguing the implementation process of the e-Government initiative but expressed confidence in the country’s digital drive to succeed.
According to him, Government needs fund to upskill civil servants while on the other hand, some of them are still struggling to be digital natives “but we are trying to get them onboard”.
“We have been training different categories of Nigerians, particularly in the public space; we will ensure that we train and retrain Civil and Public Servants on government digital services until we e-Government is Implemented 100% in Nigeria”, Pantami stated.
The Minister spoke at the the commemoration of 2022 Universal Access to Information Day organised by the National Committee on Information for all Programme in Nigeria (IFAP) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
He noted the need to brainstorm on provision of reliable access to and use of print/electronic information as well as artificial intelligence within government at the international, national, state, municipal, and local level governments, citizens, and businesses for sustainable national development.
“On the 28 of September 2022, the event took place in Pakistan which is not more than a week today, the United Nations through UNESCO on the 15th of November 2015 which is almost 7years designated every September of each year to be marked to create more awareness and also advocate for free access for information and work towards educating the global citizens”, he said.
While emphasising the importance of taking a position on international policies and guidelines for action on access to information and knowledge in knowledge-based societies, the Minister described this year’s theme which is “e-Governance and Access to Information” as relatable as it is in alignment with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).
He observed that the thematic key words can be found in some of the eight pillars of the policy which reflect ongoing efforts by the Federal Government towards achieving a Digital Nigeria.
“In other to be very proactive in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and as the Minister in charge of our communications and digital economy, I developed a Policy which I directed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to implement by establishing the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR)”.
“Initially, while I was at NITDA, I started building the centre but the name was NITDA Academy, but when I became Minister, I discovered that the interest and priority were not just about academy, rather, trying to provide some key elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, particularly under emerging technologies and to focus more on the eight pillars”, Pantami noted.
According to the Minister, software is dominating the world in the last few decades and there is a high probability that AI would consume software and dominate the world in the same manner and this is what the training is showing today.
Pantami assured the Committee that the Federal Government through the Ministry is working tirelessly towards achieving its ambitious target of going paperless at least at the Federal level by 2030.