By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA: Nov. 15, 2019 – The Government of the Republic of Korea Friday handed over a renovated and equipped training centre for the training of public servants on e-Government in Nigeria.
The handover ceremony was conducted at the e-Government Training Centre (ETC) which is located within the premises of the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN)in Abuja.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Country Director of Korea International Agency, KOICA, Nigeria Office, Mr. Woochan said the Korean government earmarked $8.56 million to support the development of e-Government in Nigeria since 2013, through various capacity building programs, establishment of an e-Government Training Centre and formulating the first (1st) e-Government Master Plan for Nigeria in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Public Service Institute of Nigeria and other major stakeholders.
He said the approval of the e-Government Master Plan by the Federal Executive Council of Nigeria in 2018 which demonstrated the Nigerian Government’s buy-in to e-Government.
According to him, nine invitational trainings had been conducted in Korea for public servants of various cadres. This he said resulted to training of 1,646 public servants on e-Government by Korean experts to build their capacity for the implementation of e-Government in Nigeria.
‘‘The ETC was refurbished between 2017 and 2018 and equipped with the best quality of 1T Equipment and it would serve as a centre of excellence for training civil servants.
‘‘KOICA’s partnership does not end with this project. KOICA will continue to help Nigeria to transform itself into digital governance and digital economy in the near future”.
The ceremony featured a quick tour of the centre showed the 100-seater auditorium, a vision room that highlights the strides of Korea and Nigeria in e-Government till date as well as two smart classrooms for training public servants. The Centre has also been provided with a 250 KVA standby generator for 24 hours power supply.
In his goodwill message, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Maj. Gen. Lee In-tae (rtd.), said e-Government had contributed to Korea’s national development in terms of economic dynamics and political accountability.
He expressed high hopes that the centre will be used for its purpose and the impact of the investment of the Korean Government would be felt in Nigeria.
IN his Keynote speech, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami while expressing appreciation to the Government of Korea for the numerous efforts to improve the situation of governance in the country said the project was in line with the federal government’s plan to be in alignment with the global best practice and also to actualise its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP.
He stated that without a doubt the centre will be used to train more public servants to actualise the e-Government Master Plan for Nigeria.
‘‘ICT is not about socialization. We need to change the perception of our youths in order to be beneficial to the economy’’, he said.
With the takeover of the training centre, the minister said the ministry would soon set up a standing committee that would work out modalities on how all civil servants would be trained before the end of 2023.
Beyond that he said the ministry would see how to get state governments involved in the training of their own public servants as well.
On the second phase of the project, Pantami said the federal government is currently at the process of accessing another grant from Korea government. The idea he said is to establish more training centres across the country to hasten the training process.