The new Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Communications, Istifanus Fuktar, says it is time for Nigeria to move away from running its affairs manually and embrace digitisation.
Mr Fuktur said this on Tuesday during the handing over ceremony in the ministry in Abuja. He was the Permanent Secretary of the Police Service Commission before he was redeployed to the Ministry of Communications.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Fuktur said the contributions of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to economic growth cannot be overemphasised
He said there is a need for Nigeria to be digitised, noting that it would save the country a lot, including from environmental hazards and wastages. He said digitisation would also ensure transparency in the system.
Mr Fuktur said improving the lives of Nigerians through ICT would be his major focus at the ministry.
“There is so much that ICT can do for our country, we have seen it in other countries,” he said.
He said many countries have gone e-governance but Nigeria is yet to get to that level.
“We have seen the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) complain about the voting process in the country.”
He said many journalists, police officers and election monitors could not vote because they were involved in electoral duties
“So, using the identity management data, one should be able to vote from his house,” he said.
“Also we do a lot of transactions using telephone and hacking has not prevented us from doing so.”
He said ICT also has a lot of advantages for farming, businesses, education and every other sector.
Mr Fuktar said that continued felling of trees to produce papers for various activities were contributing immensely to environmental degradation.
He urged staff of the ministry to be committed to their duties and responsibilities. He said the cooperation of staff will assist in achieving the set goals of the ministry and urged the management staff, the union leaders and the entire staff to extend their unalloyed support and cooperation to him.
The departing Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ngozi Ejele, who was represented at the ceremony by the Director of Human Resources, El-Baff Abubakar, said her absence during the handover ceremony was unavoidable.
“The outgoing Permanent Secretary is unavoidably absent, so the activities of government must have to move on,’’he said.
“The handover ceremony was scheduled for three weeks ago but due to some reason it is holding today,” he said.