… to establish IT security units in ministries
By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—Federal government says it is considering integration of Information Communication Technology, ICT into education curriculum.
The Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, who disclosed this on Tuesday at the inauguration of boards of NIPOST, NIGCOMSAT and NITDA under the ministry in Abuja also said that Federal Government has concluded plans to establish IT Security Units in all ministries to realize the e-Government plan.
Shittu said the integration of ICT into the education curriculum became necessary to bridge the gap created in the sector due to inadequate usage of ICT by individuals and Businesses in the country.
‘‘Considering the large youth population in the country, we will work with the Ministry of Education to integrate ICT effectively into education curricular through the use of ICT to facilitate education using smart devices, e-Content as well as increase the uptake of ICT as a subject. We will support educational institutions with funding and facilitate training to faculty and to students. A detailed skills gap assessment will be done to devise strategies to cater for the market.
‘‘Government itself will act as a leader in ICT uptake through the comprehensive e-Government Masterplan, bringing more services online and mobile,’’ he explained.
He said the Ministry will be actively engaged in IT adoption in the Civil service. In this regard, he said the ICT and e-Government departments in the ministry will play more active role in planning and coordinating computerization within the Civil Service.
According to him, the ICT Department in particular will be staffed with a pool of Project Managers and act as the technical consultants to Ministries and Departments where computerization projects are underway.
Also, the minister disclosed that a trustworthy environment where citizens and businesses can conduct electronic transactions in confidence will be established with emphasis on the security aspects of key technical infrastructure supporting e-Government services.
This he said will lead to operation of an IT Security Unit at the Ministry level to provide technical assistance in the implementation of ISO/IEC 17799 security standards in Government.
‘‘This unit will be responsible for raising IT security awareness among public officers, implementing Government IT security policies, carrying out IT security audits and providing guidance to Ministries/Departments on security matters.
‘‘A central Information Systems unit will work in the ICT Department to provide on-going technical support for operational systems within the Civil Service mainly through the posting of its staff as Database Administrators and support officers within various Ministries/Departments.’’
He further announced that data capture will be conducted for certain Ministries and departments by Data Entry Operators.
‘First level technical support on personal computers, printers and office automation software falls under the responsibility of the Technical Support unit.
‘‘We will explore the feasibility of the Central Information system unit to be responsible for payroll processing under the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) for the entire Civil Service with designated webmasters for each Ministry/Department.’’
With about 10% contribution to the GDP from the ICT sector, he said that the sector has great potentials for contributing over 45 million jobs through
the Devices, Software Solution and e-Commerce sector and rake in significant revenue.
While congratulating members of the new boards, the minister urged them to bring their experience to bear for the task ahead.
He told them that the major concern in the inter relationship in Government ICT institutions is that of inadequate synergy and urged them to make synergy a core principle in their various agencies to facilitate seamless development in the sector.
‘‘I must remind you however that your new role confers on you both privileges and great responsibilities requiring high level of commitment and urgency.’’
In his acceptance speech on behalf of other board members, the chairman of NIGCOMSAT board, George Moghalu said they were away of the enormous task before them and assured that they would hit the ground running to actualize their set mandate.
‘‘I assure you that we are fully conscious of the demand of this appointment. We are going to partner with the ministry. We are aware much is expected from us and we will hit the ground running and make sure we do our best,’’ he assured.
The minister noted that the two key impact areas of the administration’s vision are improving the revenue profile of government and generating massive employment through the Communications Sector.
‘‘We believe that we can considerably increase government receipts through and within the sector. With the growing demand for e-commerce, government will ensure that youths are trained in this aspect of ICT and prepared them to be employable.’’
Such investments, he said will attract people to the sector, who will live, work and contribute to further development, prosperity and a high quality of life for the generality of the citizens.
He explained that ICT in Nigeria has a lot to offer Nigerians and businesses in the area of improved banking services, Education, Trade and Commerce, Agriculture, Health and even Entertainment.
‘‘It has also facilitated national security and governance. As far as the federal government is concerned, this sector is strategically located to be a key driver of the Nigerian economy. The sector therefore needs to be strategically positioned through well thought out reforms,’’ Shittu said.