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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ICT: Forum urges Jonathan to extend transformation agenda

A three-day National Information Technology Public-Private Forum (NITPPF) ended in Benin City, Edo State, recently with participants calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that transformation agenda trickles into Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

They also tasked Jonathan-led government to ensure that implementable national ICT strategies are enthroned into the system of governance.

A declaration endorsed by the chairman and president of Information Technology Industry Association (ITAN), Dr. Jimson Olufuye and co-chair and Executive Director, ICT Directorate Edo State, Mrs. Yemi Keri, also reiterated that for Nigeria to achieve a vibrant ICT sector, she needs to enhance the practice and deployment of ICT in all its affairs and train entire workforce to develop skills and competencies.

The event organized by ITAN and World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) in collaboration with the Government of Edo State, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), INTELLECT (the UK Technology Industry), among others, has the theme: Effective e-Strategies: Path to a Digital Nigeria.

Equally, participants harped on effective e-strategies imperative for a digital Nigeria to be a reality by the year 2020 even with the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) 2015 goals in perspective.

They called for individuals to be encouraged to align their attitudes to embrace changes and advancement in technology and constantly stay abreast of growth and trends in the sector.

“The present day government’s vision of transforming the economy of Nigeria should be evident in all areas including the IT sector which is the foundation for development in every other field,” the forum said.

They noted that without executable implementation plan and projects tied to measurable outcomes from top down ICT strategies across all three tiers of government, the digital Nigeria agenda would be unattainable.

Additionally, participants agreed that Nigeria should as part of its national strategies implement e-Skills frameworks and ICT industry standards to enable services, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in the area of ‘light’ Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), to be digitally relevant and competitive.

The Federal Government, they urged should keep faith with the Vision 20-2020, while blue print on the creation of a new Ministry and the harmonization of government agencies in the Communications and the Information Technology sector, should not be over-looked.

“There is need to measure progress along the 11 WSIS Action lines. Therefore, a yearly stock-taking report should be started by ITAN with support from NITDA, NEPAD, NCC, CPN, NCS and Galaxy Backbone on the lead to 2015 and 2020 to contain various ICT projects and initiatives by states and Federal government, civil societies, and businesses on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),” part of the declaration read.

This report, participants noted, could readily feed to global stocktaking processes in which Nigeria development efforts are reported, even as all stakeholders should be guided by an appropriate IT Policy framework and the necessary legislation to protect gains achieved.

“There is need to deepen enlightenment and discussion on key issues such as broadband infrastructure, digital spectrum dividend, cloud computing, cybersecurity, social networking, management of critical Internet resources, localization, cultural identity among others,” the declaration stated.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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