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FG, Korea sign $13m MoU on e-governance

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By Ifeanyi Nwoko

The Federal Government, says  it plans to fully digitise its processes, particularly in the civil service and other government institutions by 2026.

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isah Pantami disclosed this on Thursday,  when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Korean Government for a 13 million dollars  e-governance initiative.

The initiative, sponsored by the Korean Government, is the second phase of e-governance support to Nigeria and would be completed by  2026.

The initiative was being implemented by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to support Nigeria’s e-Governance Masterplan.

Tagged:  “Project for building foundations toward digital governance in Nigeria” the 13 million dollars initiative, is to run from 2020 to 2021, coming on the heels of completion of its first phase that costs 8.5 million dollars.

Pantami commended the Korean government for its numerous support to advance Nigeria’s e governance, noting that the first phase of the project, which lapsed in 2019, was very successful as it established an e-governance training centre.

He said that since  completion of the centre, over 1,000 government officials had been trained there with KOICA also sponsoring Nigerians to study digital governance  in Korea.

“Over 1000 civil servants have benefitted from the training and many of them are on advanced training on  e-governance.

“On behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, we are most appreciative and thankful to the Republic of Korea for the donation of the e-governance training centre.

“We are also thankful to Korea republic for sponsoring some of our citizens, particularly,  civil servants, to attend trainings in the republic.

“We appreciate what you plan to spend on e-governance  by signing this agreement today. I hope that at the end of the second phase, we will  be able to achieve full digitisation of our activities and processes, particularly in our civil service and Federal Government institutions,” the minister said.

Pantami added that  signing of the MoU,  further buttressed that  government of the Republic of Korea,  remained the number one country in supporting Nigeria on  e-governance.

The minister recalled his visit to Korea for a telecommunication conference, noting that what Korea had achieved in digital governance was very remarkable.

“Korea’s governance digital services are supposed to be one of the  models to be adopted here in Nigeria,” he said.

Also Speaking, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Kim Young-Chae, said that Korea was the most connected country in the World.

He said the  government had recognised the tremendous growth of  ICT sector in Nigeria,  under the leadership of Pantami, pledging that Korea would continue to support Nigeria in its growth.

“We recognise that in 2020, the ICT sector in Nigeria recorded the highest growth among other sectors.

“I want to see Nigeria’s IT sector  continue to grow with KOICA. Today is a very important day for us to continue to help the Nigerian Government and the people,” he said.

The Country Director of KOICA in Nigeria, Mr Woochan Chang, said the aim of the project was to assist the country in digitising governance.

“On behalf of the Korean government, we support Nigeria’s social and economic development.

“One of our interests is assisting Nigerian government’s endeavor to make governance more efficient, more transparent and its service should be to the people’s needs.

“To that end, Korean government through KOICA is assisting Nigerian government’s endeavor to digitise its governance to Nigerian citizens.

So from 2020 to 2026, KOICA will support the ministry of communication and digital economy to implement Nigeria’s e-governance masterplan,” he said.

He noted that phase one of the project had over 1,400 Nigerians trained, adding that over the next six years, more Nigerians would be trained in that regard. 

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