Business & Finance

President Buhari restates commitment to fight against corruption

The Nigerian government says it is very serious about the fight against corruption and will not rest until the menace is completely dealt with.

President Muhammadu Buhari was speaking in Abuja on Monday, while opening the 2018 e-Nigeria International Conference and exhibition.

Similarly, the President said the Social Investment Programmes of government, meant to better the lot of its citizens would be sustained.

The President, who underscored the importance of Information Communication Technology ICT to all spheres of life, said it could help sustain the fight against corruption and the Social Investment Programmes.

He said: We are serious about fighting corruption. We must not fail in our quest to eliminate corruption in government businesses and in the wider society. The success of this administration's Social Investment Programme (SIP), tagged as the largest and most ambitious social safety net programme in our recent history, relies heavily on the application of ICT.

Components of programmes such as the N-Power, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) all leverage on ICT. This programme has so far benefited over 9 million Nigerians.

Furthermore, NITDA, in collaboration with the National Social Investment Office (NSIO), is coordinating Federal Government's initiative of establishing eight (8) Innovation Hubs, one in each of the six Geo-Political Zones and one each in Lagos and Abuja. The purpose of establishing these hubs is to facilitate digital capacity building for immediate employment, entrepreneurial skills development, job and wealth creation. All these are aimed at promoting the digital economy in an era of disruptive technology through effective regulations.

President Buhari therefore called on participants at the 3-day e-Nigeria conference to draw up recommendations that will help government develope a digital economy for Nigeria.

I enjoin the Conference to come up with innovative ideas, workable and implementable recommendations that would help and enhance government's efforts at creating the enabling environment for the promotion of the digital economy in an era of disruptive technologies, considering our peculiarities as a country, he said.

Financial Discipline

The Nigerian leader said ICT has helped a lot in implementing government policies as well as enforcing its financial regulations, thus reducing corruption and yielding more revenue for government.

This administration's commitment towards delivering good governance and development to our people is as strong as ever, considering the huge role ICT is playing in the successes recorded in the past three and a half years.

The enforcement of the use of the policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and the impact they have made on the administration's public financial management reforms.

In addition to the consolidation of accounts and elimination of ghost workers that resulted in a combined monthly savings of about N24.7 billion, the TSA facilitated the recovery of huge sums of money including the recentN1.6 billion from a single account. These policy initiatives reinforce this administration's fight against corruption by ensuring transparency and accountability in government business transactions, President Buhari stated.

Compliance

The President commended the National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA for promoting the delivery of quality Information Technology IT projects across the country, in line with government's Executive Order 005.

Presidential Executive Order 005 was also issued in February this year. This is part of the administration's deliberate efforts and strong commitment at strengthening the role of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country's socio-economic development.

Of particular note is NITDA's initiative focused on the Registration of IT Contractors and Service Providers in collaboration with other regulatory bodies with special emphasis on competencies. This will ensure the delivery of quality IT projects, as well as facilitate the development of indigenous IT companies in line with global best practices, he said.

He noted that NITDA's efforts at enforcing Federal Government's directive on ensuring that all ICT projects in the country are cleared by it before implementation would help promote government's due process policy, ensuring that all procurements are transparent as well as enforce the patronage of indigenous companies where capacity exists and uphold the highest standards for service delivery.

The Nigerian leader emphasised the need for the public service to be highly competitive, innovative and digitally-enabled, in order to deliver public services and effectively drive government programs and policies.

He commended NITDA and other relevant government agencies for complying with government's earlier directive on the matter, by creating the enabling environment, through the development of policies, frameworks, standards and guidelines.

The President later inspection some products locally made through ICT as motivated by NITDA.

The occasion was graced by some Service Chiefs, members of the legislature and the Federal Executive Council.

Source: Voice of Nigeria