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”.
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