Abuja -The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will deploy ICT for effective and efficient service delivery in the country, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Osinbajo made the statement on Tuesday in Abuja in his message at the opening of the e-Nigeria Conference.
Osinbajo, represented by Mr Adebayo Ipaye, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, said that ICT had been acknowledged as catalyst for increasing competitiveness and creation of knowledge based economy.
He said that the administration would do its utmost to provide effective services and efficient public administration through the deployment of ICT tools.
“We are convinced that the resultant efficiency will engender sustainable socio-economic development for our people; it is an enabler for enhancing process efficiency and productivity.
“The deployment of ICT contributed to the success recorded during the 2015 elections with the use of smart card readers and election risk management tools.
“Also, the activation of prompt remedial mechanisms and the use of social media facilitated the success of the elections,’’ he said.
To build on this success, Osinbajo said that government would engage other stakeholders through dialogue, conferences and research to obtain best practices across the globe.
“The partnership between NITDA and INEC is therefore apt and timely, the desire for fair, credible and successful elections in Nigeria rests with INEC while effective ICT deployment rest with NITDA.
“It is therefore, my expectation that the outcome of the conference should demonstrate the gains of this formidable partnership among relevant government agencies,’’ Osinbajo said.
In his presentation, Prof. Attahiru Jega, the immediate past Chairman of INEC, said that constitutional and legal framework would ensure credible and sustainable election process in the country.
The former INEC boss, who is now the Pro-Chancellor, Plateau State University, said that strengthening the electoral legal framework would ensure that citizens’ votes count.
He said that strengthening financial autonomy of the commission was another way of tackling the challenge.
“Subjecting INEC to the Single Treasury Account is a recipe for disaster,’’ Jega said and called on the government to make funding of the commission a matter of importance.
He said that the commission could not function effectively without adequate funding.
In his welcome address, Mr Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications, said that e-Nigeria had gained formidable platform for creating awareness of ICT and development of appropriate action plan for the sector.
He said that his expectation was that the conference would develop a framework for effective ICT deployment as an enabling catalyst for sustainable national development.
He stressed the need for Nigerians to “examine the critical role of ICT in the delivery of credible elections.
Shittu said the conference should be able to chart a veritable course for harnessing ICT potentials for the creation of employment opportunities for the teaming mass of Nigerian youths.
Mr Peter Jack, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the organiser of the conference, said that Nigeria should be able to conduct elections through e-voting platform by the next general elections in 2019. (NAN)