Online communication generates over N50bn — NITDA
By Emmanuel Elebeke & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said the federal government is saving the country N24.7 billion every month through the implementation of the Single Treasury Account (TSA) policy, the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Specifically, Buhari noted that about N4.7 billion is saved through the TSA policy by consolidating 20,000 accounts of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government, while the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) had eliminated thousands of ghost workers, thereby reducing waste in the system and saving government over N20 billion monthly.
He made the disclosure while declaring open the 2017 edition of eNigeria Conference and Exhibition organized by the National Information and Technology Development Agency, NITDA, in Abuja. The President stated: “My presence here today is a demonstration of our commitment and strong belief in using ICT as a major driver of our developmental governance and economic reform plans aimed at bringing about the true Change we promised our people.
“We have so far consolidated over 20,000 accounts, resulting into about N4.7 billion monthly savings. In addition the policy facilitated transparency, accountability and ease of transactions and payments between Government and businesses as well as Government and citizens. Another initiative leveraging on ICT and making huge impact on the economy is the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN). Its implementation has helped to eliminate the menace of ghost workers thereby reducing waste in the system by saving government over N20 billion monthly.”
The President said ICT sector is strategic in driving the productivity and efficiency in all sectors of the economy, noting that the sector has so far recorded huge investments and contributed over 10 percent of the nation’s GDP. He said government is making conscious efforts to see that the contribution continues to grow in the next few years.
Meanwhile, Buhari has decried the high rate of consumption of foreign technology. He noted that about 80 percent of ICT hardware purchases in the country are imported by MDAs and other government establishments.
“This makes it difficult for us to benefit from the dividends of continuous procurement and consumption of ICT infrastructure and limited value retention within the country.
Corroborating the President, the Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami revealed that despite recession, online communications generated N50bn to the government coffers in 2016 alone.
He said that “this is an indication that we have a lot to benefit from digital economy. It is good for us to lay more emphasis on local software and hardware and improve their qualities and give more priority to what we produce before we think of importation.
There is need for deliberate efforts, both from government as well as the private sector to see to the realisation of this,” he said.
In his welcome address at the event, the Director General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami said despite the challenges from recession, online communication generated over N50 billion within the country.
“This is an indication that we have a lot to benefit with digital economy. It is good for us to lay more emphasis on local software and hardware and improve their qualities production and give more priority to what we produce before we think of importation,” he stated.