Monday, August 08, 2011

Ewa says ICT4D plans’ll boost critical sectors

The Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa has said that the Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) was designed to boost critical economic sectors.

Speaking at the third phase of the ownership sectoral workshop on the Nigeria ICT4D plan organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Lagos, last week, the Minister who was represented at the occasion by the Director-General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi-Lagos, (FIIRO), Dr. (Mrs) Gloria Elemo said in his address that the plan encompassed in the national strategic plan of action covers various critical sectors of the nation’s economy.

According to him, the strategic plan was designed to contribute to the realization of the socio-economic development policy priorities of government, through the identification of specific short-term, medium-term and long-term progrmmes and projects for implementation by identified stakeholders.

He recalled that during the public presentation of the plan during the 2010 edition of e-Nigeria in May 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan, had directed that all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to commence immediate implementation of areas relevant to their mandates.

This, he noted, may not be possible without a thorough and detailed understanding of the need for the plan and the various programmes or initiatives to be embarked upon.

“This has necessitated today’s workshop, which is a follow-up to the two phases earlier held in February and May 2011,” he said.

Prof. Ewa also pointed out that this workshop was intended to evaluate any programme that has been implemented from the plan, identify the challenges and formulate appropriate strategies for full implementation.

“… With the ultimate objective of fast-tracking the deployment of information technology to drive the present administration’s transformation agenda,” he said.

As said by him, the previous two phases covered agriculture, education, health, e-governance, e-security, e-legislature, and human capital development, even as he expected the third edition to focus on research and development, ICT infrastructure, private sector participation and ICT popularization and awareness.

“I strongly believe that it is only through proper co-ordination and collaboration of stakeholders that we can adequately position our country as a major player in the global information society and knowledge economy,” he said.

The minister emphasized the importance of the workshop which is planned towards evaluating various on-going initiatives aimed at achieving part of the outcome of the two-phased World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable national development in the country as encapsulated in the national vision 20:2020 and President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda.

Prof. Ewa reinstated the resolve of the federal government to collaborate with stakeholders including public, private sectors, professionals, civil society groups, the media, youths and students bodies alike.

“We should be able to further create awareness on the need for according necessary priority to information technology deployment in our various sectors in order for Nigeria to effectively be part of the emerging knowledge economy,” he expressed optimism.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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