THE Federal Government is to develop an E-government Master Plan that would enable it harmonize all the projects in order to have a strategic focus.
Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, who disclosed this at the opening of 2014 Domain Name System(DNS) Forum in Abuja, observed that government embraced the E-Government initiative to increase public administration efficiency and help Nigerians have better access to government services and information.
Johnson noted that Information Technology is being deployed in the running of government business to ensure transparency and efficiency in governance and public service delivery. The Minister stated that the Government Service Portal (GSP) and Government Contact Centre (GCC) has been established, adding that the portal provides a single window technology access by citizens and other stakeholders to government services being provided by various Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Represented by the Director of E-Government in the Ministry, Tope Fashedemi, the minister pointed out that the federal government has embarked on Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) which has helped it to save billions of Naira and helped to eliminate the Ghost Workers Syndrome” in the public service. She noted that the latest United Nations e-Government Development ranking indicated that Nigeria has improved by 21 points as it previously ranked 162 and now ranks 141 out of 193 countries rated in the recent UN Global e-Government Development Index for 2014. It also now ranks 97 in the e-Participation index, an improvement of 22 points up from 75 in 2012.
Also speaking, the President, Africa Top Level Domains Organization, Dr. Paulos Nyirenda said that Africa has the lowest penetration for domain names, Internet access and content development.
He said, “This is the reason Africa Top Level Domains Organization is very active in capacity because Africa is lagging behind than any other region in the world. We need to build our decision makers. Part of the problem with Africa is that they are not sustainable, Africa countries need to build better business plan, raise money to make them sustainable. We need to build capacity to run the business a little bit better”.
Nyirenda observed that one of the major group to target in the expansion of Domain Name business in Africa are the youths, as the industry has the capacity to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in Africa.
“We have trained a lot of Registry operators, we assist to develop policy and advise countries on procedures for hosting Domain Names. This will help revitalize the industry as we get more registrars and employ a few more people. The establishment knows that Internet is a major drive for socio-economic development”, he stated.
In a keynote address, Sikiru Shehu, a member of the Executive Board of Directors of NiRA and Registrar, Council of Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria, said that today’s increasingly digital world has elevated the Domain Name industry globally adding that a recent VeriSign report recent attacks targeting enterprise websites have created awareness on how critical the domain name system is for the reliability of internet services and the potentially catastrophic impact of a DNS outage.
According to him, the domain name industry is becoming a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) of different countries and has brought about the need to look at ways of taking advantage of the new opportunities through investment and monetization.
“As record numbers of Africans go online, African Businesses and governments are turning to Internet and the domain name industry to help them elevate their work to the next level. In this digital age, the domain name industry has become an important tool for communication, businesses and education.
In her remarks, President of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) Mrs. Mary Uduma noted that Domain Name business is an industry that has developed in other climes and stressed the need for Africa and Nigeria to make money out of Domain Name industry.
She noted that the event was convened to create awareness and sensitize our people that there is money in Domain Name business if properly harnessed.
“We are looking at the digital economy and how to create employment for our youths. When this industry is properly developed, we will not be talking of unemployment because they can work from their homes. Infrastructure is a key to increasing Internet penetration”, she stated