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Virtual Engagements Policy has reduced cost of governance – Pantami

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami

…Commissions 7 Digital projects

BY Emmanuel Elebeke

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy , Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami says the introduction  of National Policy for Virtual Engagements in the federal public institutions has resulted to huge savings for the country.

He said though, the development of the policy was informed by  the major transition from physical meetings to online meetings occasioned by COVD-19donation, the policy has paid off, as it has resulted into substantial savings for the country.

For instance, the Minister said with the adoption of virtual meetings, the need for airfare, duty tour allowance and related costs have all been reduced.

The policy, he said is in line with the Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria and which was designed to mitigate the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister stated this at the weekend when he hosted the commissioning of the 9th edition of the digital projects for Digita l Nigeria which comprised 7 Digital projects spread across the country.

He said, “We all know how the COVID-19 pandemic led to a rapid change in how events and meetings are conducted.  There has been a major transition from physical meetings to online meeting and this motivated us to develop a National Policy for Virtual Engagements in the Federal Public Institutions.

“This Policy was presented at the Federal Executive Council on the 14th of October 2021 and the implementation commenced immediately after its approval at the Council.

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“This Policy on Virtual Engagements is also in line with our Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria and our Digital Economy Policy enabled us to mitigate the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It also encouraged us to accelerate the implementation of the Policy.

“Our physical-virtual hybrid approach to the commissioning of projects has been very successful and we are very pleased to commission Batch 9 of projects executed by the parastatals under the Ministry.

“This approach results in substantial savings for the country as it reduces the need for airfare, duty tour allowance and related costs.

“The fact they we are commissioning the projects simultaneously also leads to savings for government.”

The 7 projects commissioned were executed by parastatals under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

They are: Community ICT Centre, Dutse, Jigawa State [North West]; IT Incubation Park, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi [North East]; Digital Economy Centre, Garki Secondary School, Abuja, [North Central]; Digital Economy Centre, Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo [South East]; Digital Economy Centre, Ojodu Grammar School, Ojodu, Lagos State [South West]; Emergency Communications Centre, Enugu, Enugu State [South East]; and  Emergency Communications Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State [South West].

Pantami explained that the projects were carefully thought-out and executed efficiently, with a view to ensuring the sustainable growth of Nigeria’s digital economy, across the entire country.

“They play a major role in the development of Nigeria’s Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria, in line with the mandate of Mr President to our Ministry.

“They also align with the focus areas of the Federal Government, such as economic development, security and eradicating corruption.

“Furthermore, it is also worth noting that these projects are part of the policies of the Ministry that the parastatals are executing.”

The Community ICT Centre and IT Park were deployed by NITDA and is expected to go a long way in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship in the communities where they are situated.

The Digital Economy Centre (DEC) was also deployed by NITDA.  It is a solar powered IT Centre equipped with computers, Internet access and tools aimed at enhancing skills development, bridging the digital divide and promoting innovative digital solutions that will address challenges facing the country. It supports economic growth by ensuring digital inclusion for the underserved/unserved communities and supports capacity building efforts.

In the same vein, the Emergency Communication Centre (ECC) Project was setup by the Nigerian Commissions Commission, NCC to promote and enhance public safety through the use of the 112 number, designated as the Universal Safety and Emergency Assistance Number for telephone services generally; and encourage and facilitate the prompt deployment of a seamless, ubiquitous and reliable end-to-end infrastructure for emergency communications needs.

To ensure sustainability of the projects, Pantami, encouraged all the host communities of the projects to guide them and ensure that they take full advantage of the facilities for the benefit of the community.

Vanguard News Nigeria

The post Virtual Engagements Policy has reduced cost of governance – Pantami appeared first on Vanguard News.

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