- FG to Deepen Governance with Digital Platform
The federal government on Thursday in Abuja, reiterated its commitment to expand governance to all sectors of the economy, using digital platforms driven by data centres.
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said efforts are on to expand the number of data centres in the country as part of government’s plan to expand its presence on a digital platform, 1-gov.net.
According to the minister, the digital platform, apart from consolidating existing government ICT infrastructure, also enables ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs), to exchange data in a seamless manner while allowing each other to remain independent and maintain its privacy and the security of its operatives.
Shittu who made the disclosure during his keynote address delivered at the 2017 Microsoft Digital Government Conference held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, said through the 1-gov.net, government has become more participative and accessible where citizens can participate in policy process through discussions, suggestions and online-polls.
“Various government departments are using the platform to seek inputs on a wide range of issues. Using the 1-gov.net platform, government has been able to save 30 per cent of what it would have expended on a unit per unit cost. As at date 90 per cent of all MDAs within Abuja are linked with fiber backbone and 3,500 locations of different MDAs have been touched across the country. About 270 MDAs websites and applications are being hosted on the network,” the minister said.
“Government has recorded success in 1-gov.net, we now focus on some services that have direct bearing on the present administration’s priorities, and we determined to continue with the shared ICT infrastructure and services initiative in the MDAs. The 1-gov.net is promoting Whole-of-Government approaches in the information age based on shared services. This approach will enhance productivity of government officials, increase experience of patrons of government services, enhance security and drive out the menace of corruption,” the minister added.
He said government would continue to recognise the urgent need to increase efficiency and transparency, improve and align processes, smart government and smart cities, attract new investors, bridge the digital divide, transform government transaction services, data-driven government, better access to and management of information, in such a way that would enhance citizen satisfaction and trust, meeting the needs of rapidly changing demographics and balancing costs while optimising efficiency.
According to him, digital government is a vision statement that seeks to bring about citizen empowerment by harnessing the potentials of ICTs as well as seeking to transform government into digitally empowered society and knowledge economy in a manner that government is available on the palm of every citizen.
Digital government, he said, does not comprise the digital architecture alone, but it encompasses digital delivery of citizen-centric services, and ultimately, digital empowerment of the people.
He said: “Internet users in Nigeria have crossed 90 million. The mobile users have also crossed 156 million mark. The smart phone users are more than 60 million. Today, from booking of train tickets to payment of fees and taxes, from post office and banking transactions to issue of digital documents, online registrations to online applications and e-services, digital revolution is seen everywhere and touches almost every aspect of life of a common citizen.”
Shittu further said that government invested in shared ICT Infrastructure to secure the benefits of lower cost, increased security, increased innovation and faster service delivery, adding that government is supporting the development and sustenance of ICT applications that are driving cost effectiveness and transparency in government service delivery. He added that applications supporting the Treasury Single Accounts (TSA), IPPIS, Budget Portal and BVN verifications among others were already resulting in huge savings.
The Ministry of Communications, he said, has expanded the Open Government Data Portal, which is a part of the Federal Government Open Data Initiative, stressing that many civil servants have been trained across MDAs on the use of the portal.
The minister called Microsoft to help train local ICT savvy youth and key into government’s local content policy on current projects and priorities to ensure a smooth transition, while emphasing that Nigeria is the new bride in empowering digital governments to share latest innovative technology trends and government solutions to improve the capabilities of government within Nigeria.
Oil Prices Decline on Rising COVID-19 Cases
Global Oil Prices Dipped on Friday as New COVID-19 Cases Jump Globally
Global oil prices decline on Friday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged across the world.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined from $43.47 per barrel it traded on Thursday during the Asian trading session to $41.60 per barrel on Friday at around 11:39 am Nigerian time.
Oil traders and investors are worried that the rising number of COVID-19 new cases would disrupt demand for the commodity and force refineries to shut down once again.
“I do not suspect many oil traders will be looking to place significant bids in the market today, suggesting prices may continue to wallow into the weekend,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
Despite efforts by both OPEC plus and other top oil producers to halt falling oil prices and reduce global oil glut, the lack of a cure for COVID-19 remained global concerns.
As previously stated on this platform, until a cure is found the world would have to find a way to either work through COVID-19 or shut down activities completely.
This is coming a day after the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it was putting school resumption plan on hold following the latest COVID-19 report that shows Nigeria’s confirmed cases crossed 30,000 on Wednesday.
In the United States, more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to start contemplating the second phase of COVID-19 lockdown.
We Are Losing N13.9bn Monthly Because FG Caps Tariff – Discos
Discos Says it is Losing N14bn Monthly Because of NERC Capped Tariff
The Nigerian power Distribution Companies (Discos) have said they a losing N13.9 billion in revenue every month because the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, limited how much they can charge for consumption.
Ernest Mupwaya, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, made the statement during a presentation on behalf of the Discos to the House of Representatives Committee on Power.
The statement was after the Discos demanded realistic indices before the implementation of the proposed service reflective tariff, which was supposed to be implemented on July 1.
Mupwaya said there were some outstanding requirements before the service reflective tariff could be implemented.
“One of them is the removal of estimated billing caps. The financial impact of the Capping Order is an average loss of N13.9bn monthly, thereby, undermining or jeopardising the minimum remittance requirement,” Mupwaya stated.
The July 1 service tariff implementation was halted by members of the National Assembly, who prevailed on the Discos to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila Says Nigeria Can’t Compete in AfCFTA With Weak Industries
Nigeria Must Ramp up Industrialisation to Prevent Dumping by Other Nations
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the nation can not compete effectively in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with weak industrialisation and manufacturing activities.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this while receiving Adesoji Adesugba, the newly appointed Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.
The details of the visit were made public on Thursday in a statement titled, “AFCFTA: House Speaker tasks Nigeria on industrialisation through free trade zones.”
Gbajabiamila was quoted as saying “We must act proactively so that we don’t become a dumping ground for other African nations.
“Our best option in this circumstance is to immediately set machinery in motion to ensure the effective functioning and flourishing of our export processing zones.
“We must remove all bottlenecks and perfect all stumbling blocks. We will then be fully prepared for AfCFTA and also generate massive jobs for our unemployed youths and enhance our foreign earnings.”
He added that the nation must as a matter of national emergency ramp up industrialisation through free trade zones and other effective means to compete with South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised economy and other African nations.
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