From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The federal government on Monday officially launched the new National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions, while also commissioning an Emergency Communications Centre in addition to four Digital Economy Centres across Nigeria.
Speaking at the partly virtual occasion, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, disclosed that all the projects were carefully planned and implemented in order to secure a sustainable growth of Nigeria’s digital economy in line with the ministry’s mandate.
Pantami added that the movement to online meetings in official circles around the world caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has necessities the need for a policy to give legal backing to the practice in public institutions.
‘The Policy will institutionalise frameworks and standards within Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of governments as well as government -owned companies using virtual engagement as an administrative procedure in service and significantly reduce the comethod governance.
‘In line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, the facilities commissioned under the auspices of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will enhance security, create digital jobs, promote knowledge-based economic growth, increase productivity and enhance commercial and administrative methods,’ he said.
The minister restated government’s commitment to ensure that no part of the country is left out in the the digitalisation process as already, all states of the federation are benefitting from various Digital Economy projects.
Also in attendance to support the commissioning were Senator Obinna Ogbo, representing the Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and CyberCrimes, Senator Yakubu Oseni, Minister of State for Works and Housing Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development Dr Uchechukwu Ogar, representative of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation Mr Uwem Ekpo, CEOs of Parastatals and Agencies under the Ministry’s purview, among others.
The Emergency Communications Centre is located in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while the Digital Economy Centres are domiciled in Delta State University Abraka, Government Secondary School, Rigasa, Kaduna State and Federal University Gashua, Yobe State.