Given the low internally generated revenue (IGR) by the state and federal governments, huge ICT infrastructure deficiency and massive youth unemployment rate in Nigeria, which increased to 23.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 from 22.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, DigiServe Network Services Limited in partnership with Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Association of Telecoms companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), will be holding a one day conference to discuss how technology adoption in government can boost government IGR, enhance government service delivery and reduce unemployment in the country. With the theme: eGovernment: Powering Governance with ICT, the conference also provides an opportunity for the stakeholders to discuss the recently approved National eGovernment plan and parley on how to remove the barriers militating against the growth of the Nigerian telecoms and ICT sector.
According to the Executive Chairman of DigiServe Network Services Limited, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, “Nigeria is said to be the poverty capital of the world, having the highest number of people living below the poverty line. The combined IGR for all the states in Nigeria in the year 2018 is said to be a mere N1.6 trillion, which is just about the revenue of just one Telecoms Company operating in Nigeria. One of the ways of reversing this gloomy picture is to mainstream technology in governance.”
Ajayi further explained that the Nigeria eGovernment Conference would provide a platform where government officials and experts in various specializations in ICT can interact, share perspective and develop roadmap to mainstreaming ICT in various departments of government. He assured Nigerians that the conference would not just be another talk shop, but an avenue to proffer practical solutions to real-life problem.
“We are assembling top notch experts and world-class ICT service providers to come and share their expertise on how to deepen ICT in governance. The resolutions at the conference will be printed in book format and delivered to relevant government agencies and other stakeholders, with a view to ensuring implementation of the resolutions” Ajayi said.
The conference, which is scheduled to hold on October 24 at the Lagos Sheraton Hotels and Towers, has attracted top government officials and major players in the private sector. The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu is expected to deliver the opening speech as the host governor, while the Chairman, Board of Directors, MTN, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, will present the keynote address. Other keynote presenters include the Chairman, Board of Directors, Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia,; Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Chairman Joint Tax Board (JTB), Dr. Babatunde William Fowler and the Minister for Communications Technology, Dr. Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami. The Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Governor’s forum is expected to chair the panel made up of other governors. Other panel chairs include the CEO of MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke; CEO of Airtel, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya; Country Manager Google Nigeria, Mrs. Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor and Managing Director, GMT Energy Mr. Sehinde Oladapo. On the panels are top professionals which include The Director General NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi; The Postmaster General of the Federation, Mr. Bisi Adegbuyi; The Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Mr. Yusuff Kazaure; Managing Director of Nigcomsat, Mrs. Abimbola Alale and CEOs of major telecoms, bank and Fintech companies