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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lagos State IT project benefits workforce – Hamzat


The Lagos State Government has said that its Statewide Information Technology programme, known as the Global Computerization Project (GCP) of the current administration was initiated to benefit the workforce.

Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat made this disclosure at the weekend, at a one day roundtable on Internet Governance Forum (IGF) preparation for the country organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Digital Sense Africa (DSA) in Lagos.

Dr. Hamzat who was represented by the Director, Computer Services in the Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Jide Adenuga in a keynote to the occasion, noted that at inception of the last administration of Lagos State, it was confronted with enormous challenges of effectively managing the business of government particularly in the area of operational activities, revenue generation and electronic information dissemination between offices in its domains.

Consequently, Dr. Hamzat said, the present administration led by Gov. Babatunde Fashola on assumption of office fashioned out a policy thrust aimed at implementing a Statewide Information Technology programme for the transformation of the business of government in Lagos State from manual to electronic-based government.

This, he said, was introduced under the Global Computerization Project and envisaged to bring enormous benefits to government and people of Lagos State in areas of governance, management of natural, financial and material resources and the State workforce.

“On our part as a government we devised a means of maintaining closer contact with the people, by launching a state of the art website, which serves as the e-government portal at www.lagosstate.gov.ng,” he declared.

As said by him, the website features dynamic web pages with enormous bandwidth spread Statewide.

“It covers the whole gamut of government information online and provides opportunity to receive direct feedback from the citizens,” he said, stressing that the website also creates room for interaction and transaction online.

The over-riding objective of creating the website, he told participants at the forum with theme ‘Five Years of IGF: Way Forward for Nigeria’, was to provide greater access to government information and promote civic engagement; hence service oriented and provides information about government activities in addition to links to some government agencies such as tax information and payment.

“In line with the expanding nature of the socio-economic activities of the State, we are determined to continuously add value and expand the contents of the website in order to compare with the best around the world.

He pointed out that following the commencement of global Internet Governance Forum in 2006, which widely received commendation as an innovative experiment in global governance, thus bringing together stakeholders from government, the private sector and non-governmental organisations to jointly address public policy issues.

While commending the forum, presided over by the president, Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), Chief Samuel Adeleke, Commissioner Kadiri advised the organizers to liaise with the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) in development of strategy to curtail cyber crimes to a barest minimum so as to reduce the projection of the nation negatively.

The former chairperson, Presidential Inter-Ministerial Committee on World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote presented progress report of the committee at the forum, while Managing Director of Nigeria Internet Exchange Point Limited, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, delivered paper on Internet Protocol version Six (IPv6) among others.

The former Communications Minister and current chairman, Board of Trustees, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Chief Olawale Ige led the delegate from NCC and represented the acting chief executive of the commission at the forum.

Welcoming participants earlier, Executive Director, Operations, DSA, Mrs. Nkemdilim Nweke, said the forum was meant to rally opinion for the nation’s internet community in preparation for the global IGF coming up in September at Lithuania.

Digital Sense Africa is an initiative of Remnek Kommunications Ventures; a group of ICT analysts and public relations consultants, with continental media affiliates as part of its enlightenment strategies to engage Nigerians for sustainable deployment and utilization of technologies in order to make sense out of the burgeoning revolution.

This year’s forum was organized in collaboration with NCC and endorsed by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Nigeria Internet Exchange Point Ltd, Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), to name a few.

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