The Chief Information Officer of Nigeria

The Chief Information Officer of Nigeria

Imagine if all software acquisitions by the Federal Government for Nigeria are purchased by one office, and then shared by the MDAs (ministries, departments and agencies).

We would save money, fixing the problem which exists today where every unit of government acquires its own software. Yes, it is very painful reading public tenders with clusters of wastes. You see waste because no one is harmonizing simple acquisition of technology assets. This extends beyond software; simply, a redesign will save Nigeria money.

In 2017, I suggested for Nigeria to appoint a national Chief Information Officer, by updating the role of either the DG of NIMC (National Identity Management Commission) or DG of NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency) with no new bureaucracy required. That message was picked up by many industry stakeholders.

What is happening in telcos is happening in Immigration, Drivers License Office and clusters of entities across Nigeria where they continue to capture biometrics. I do think that Nigeria may need to redesign the Acts that govern NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency) and NIMC (National Identity Management Commission) to deal with many pressing issues on technology and data management. If we collapse them as one, we can have an Office of Chief Information Officer, for Federal Republic of Nigeria; call it National Chief Information Officer (NCIO). The present Director-General of NIMC can assume that office as NIMC has more roles in the consolidation of the disparate databases in Nigeria, and certainly more strategic than NITDA.

There is an update – government has indeed acted: any DG of NITDA will also in parallel serve as the Chief Information Officer of Nigeria (just knowing that!). Now, let’s make it work for Nigeria and not just another title. Yes, we can eliminate procurement corruption via harmonizing data as I noted in this “address”.

Time for “National Chief Information Officer, Federal Republic of Nigeria”


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3 thoughts on “The Chief Information Officer of Nigeria

  1. The solution is not really about appointing someone to harmonize these things, but ensuring that the office has the capacity and capability to perform the said function. Have we thought about having over five MDAs circling and bombarding NITDA with all manner of software requests? Do we really believe the current structure can handle that? Those coming for your head are very smart, they can easily overwhelm you in ways that you end up doing their bidding.

    We have had BPP (Bureau for Public Procurement) around for years, why hasn’t it been able to efficiently stamp out procurement fraud? The devil is always in the details…

    For Nigeria to function properly, the first step is to get humans who are ready to work for Nigeria in all the key places, no amount of technology can address that, it’s a human problem, and we are not great there yet.

    Hire all manner of people and staff NITDA to police software acquisition and distribution? Then you have essentially opened another Office of Bribery, because you will still hear names of softwares that work in Pluto and Jupiter make their way into those lists.

    To get anything succeed here, your two eyes must be wide open, those who benefit from these scams aren’t smiling.


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