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IIM Annual Lecture To Address Transparency, Accountability & Good Governance

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Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president /chairman Governing Council Institute of Information Management (IIM) Africa

The Institute of Information Management (IIM) 2016 annual lecture has been slated to address the place of data harmonisation to entrench transparency, accountability and good governance in the Country.

The Institute has also announced plans to honour different stakeholders in Nigeria and other parts of the world including past and present public office holders, captains of industries including leaders across the various sectors of the economy during the annual lecture, Induction & Award ceremony with the theme: “Leveraging On Proper Information Management As Basis For Promoting Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance In Nigeria”.

Speaking on the annual programme, Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, president /chairman Governing Council Institute of Information Management (IIM) Africa, said that  in view of the several challenges the Federal Government of Nigeria is faced with today coupled with the massive amounts of data that they must process, harmonised and integrated in order to meet mission requirements and deliver relevant, consistent, and current information to other government entities and the constituents they serve, there can’t be a better time for this all important annual lecture than now.

Oyewole, said that accountable governance, the fight against corruption, and improved service delivery depend upon the availability of good quality information about decisions and actions.

According to him, poor quality data, information and records will lead to missed opportunities to maximize the full value of publicly funded projects and programs.

“The recent drive by the present administration to fight corruption, promote transparency and good governance can only succeed if government have unhindered access to quality information.

“It is obvious from recent happenings in government that Nigeria as a nation is yet to have fully control over the records and information being generated, used and transmitted by the government, as government struggle to manage their public records in accordance with international good practice standards. Most often, basic records and information management controls are not in place.

“Without these controls, records are likely to be incomplete, difficult to locate and authenticated. Where they exist, they can be easily manipulated, deleted, fragmented or lost,” he said.

The President / Chairman Governing Council, IIM-Afruca added that poorly kept records, resulting in inaccurate or incomplete data, can lead to misunderstanding and misuse of information; cover-up of fraud; skewed findings and statistics; misguided policy recommendations and misplaced funding, all with serious consequences for poverty reduction and economic development.

“Managing public sector records as a basis for accountability, transparency and good governance is a systemic issue rather than an issue relating to any particular records type.  A reliable and accessible evidence base is vital for all aspects of open government, particularly the right to information and open data, which are dependent upon the ability to access reliable records and information.  Records management will not in itself achieve transparency, but without it, transparency is not possible.

“Every public sector policy maker, auditor, court official and fraud investigator knows the importance of being able to find, use and trust official records as evidence of policies, actions, transactions, expenditure, precedents, rights and entitlements. 

“Most citizens know how important it is to have proof of their rights, for instance land rights or rights in court.  And yet, in many government entities,  records are difficult to locate and to trust”, he said.

Records, as defined in international standards, are any ‘information created, received, and maintained as evidence and as an asset by an organization or person, in pursuit of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.  They may be in any medium, form, or format’ (ISO, 2011).

“It is increasingly important to link together all of the official information required as records, whether it is entered directly in a database, maintained as a digital record or kept on a paper file.

“Well-managed records and information provide clear and durable evidence of what the government has promised, what it has done, what services it has provided and how it has spent public funds. Weak records controls result in an ad hoc, potentially misleading national evidence base that opens opportunities for manipulation, corruption and fraud; weakens citizens’ ability to claim fair rights and entitlements; undermines the ability to plan and monitor policies and services; and makes it difficult to open records and information effectively. 

‎”The quality of the records and information, especially new forms of digital records, depends on the strength of the control regime, including laws, policies, practices, structures, and skills as developed through professional collaboration between government and professional institutions like the Institute of Information Management which would eventually engender quality records management standards in government,” he explained.

Dr. Oyewole said that as digital information systems replace paper-based systems, it is essential that records in digital form are capable of providing the evidence upon which governments and citizens depend. 

He said that inaccurate or incomplete records can result in misleading data that can reduce trust in the government. 

“In developing records and information management commitments, government should clearly state how records and information management will serve to make government more transparent.  Introducing a records control regime or upgrading systems to streamline procedures without actually making information available to the public does not make governments more transparent. Government should be committed to increasing transparency and access to information, and should therefore ensure appropriate powers, resources and enforcement procedures are in place to facilitate data and information sharing amongst various government agencies.

Without good quality records, which, in turn are the result of well-functioning records and information management systems, governments can find it difficult to operate efficiently, to prevent fraud and corruption, or to protect their citizen.

“The availability of trustworthy records is, therefore, an essential foundation of the systems designed to deliver good governance and services to citizens leading to positive development outcomes. If records and information management systems do not function properly, neither can these other systems”.

Aside the Lectures, the event will also feature the conferment of the Institute of Information Management (IIM) Fellowship on individuals who have made substantial contribution to the development of the Information Management and Technology profession, its practices or the Institute  of Information Management itself and Honorary Fellows on other professionals with backgrounds outside of Information Management field but are identified as having made significant contributions that impact on the profession and the society or the Institute of Information Management.

Dignitaries expected to be honoured at the event include The Honorable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), The Ooni of Ife (Royal Father of the Day), Bernadette Bosse – Chairman and CEO of the Board, Certified Document Management Association, Canada, Engr. Aliyu Aziz Abubakar, Director General, National Identity Commission (NIMC), Abuja, Prof. Ibrahim Garba – Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Peter D Komarkowski –  President Data Protection Association, USA,  ACM Nsebong Charles Akpabio – Assistant Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps Zonal Commanding Officer, FRSC Zone 2 Command, Headquarters Lagos as well as many other MDs and CEOs of major Institutions, Information Management and Technology firms among others.

Other categories of inductees include Graduate, Associate, Professional, Senior Professional and Corporate.

Special awards will also be presented to individuals and organisations who have performed credible well in the industry.

The Institute of Information Management (IIM) is the premiere professional membership driven Institute in Nigeria and Africa, approved by the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) with the consent of the Attorney General of the Federation serving the emerging field of Records, Information, Archives, Data, Security, and Document Management Professionals, with partnership and affiliation with different international organizations like the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS), UK, Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), Canada, Online Business School UK,  The International Association of Privacy Professionals, The International Records Management Trust UK, Information Requirements Clearinghouse USA, Information Governance Conference USA, Tribal Group, Information Matters etc.

The Institute of Information Management is strategically positioned to help government and professionals in both public and private organizations in Nigeria and Africa to develop the required frameworks, tools and culture needed to build capacity by improving professionalism in this essential field, as required in various disciplines including finance, administration, engineering, construction, project management, procurement, IT, communications etc.

Sound policy, clear standards, competence, certification, research and effective processes are all aspects of first-class information management programs that the Institute of Information Management unique faculties has got to deliver through our various learning and professional development programs, aimed at empowering information management professionals globally.

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So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Ekuwem, Telecom Expert Appointed SSG in Akwa Ibom

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The Akwa Ibom Government has appointed former National President of Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, as new Secretary to State Government (SSG).

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh, announced this in a statement on Monday in Uyo.

He stated that the new SSG would be sworn in on Jan. 16 at the Government House, Uyo.

He added that “this appointment is part of continuous effort to re-jig the governance structure of the state.”

Udoh noted that the process of strengthening the state executive council had started, with the swearing in of two new commissioners in the last two months.

Ekuwem would replace the erstwhile SSG, Sir Etekemba Umoren, who had been in that position since the inception of Gov. Udom Emmanuel’s administration in 2015.

The new SSG is a native of Ofi Uda in Mbo Local Government Area of the state.

He holds a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering with specialty in Computer-based Instrumentation and Control Engineering.

The new SSG is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Teledom Group and a former President of Nigeria Internet Group (NIG).

He is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA).

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Another $44m Develops Wings @ NIA

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Another $44 million has reportedly vanished from the vault of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

 

This comes months after N13 billion belonging to the agency was found in an Ikoyi apartment belonging to Ayo Oke, immediate past Director General of the agency,. DailyTrust revealed the recent development. Read how it was reported below

 

Two months after Ambassador Ayodele Oke was sacked as Director General of the National Intelligence Agency [NIA] and two days after Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar was appointed as its new DG, another scandal hit the intelligence agency at the weekend when $44million in cash kept in its vaults in Abuja was removed to an unknown destination. Daily Trust on Sunday learnt from top security sources that the money was surreptitiously removed even before the agency’s new DG resumes duty.

 

Tracing the origin of the money, the sources disclosed that the Jonathan administration released over $260million to NIA as General Intervention Fund. At the time Federal Government launched an investigation into the funds last year, only the cash discovered in Lagos and the $44million lying in the Abuja vault remained to be expended out of the original $260million, the sources said.

 

As soon as it started its probe, the Osinbajo-led committee directed that the money must remain in NIA’s vault as exhibit, Daily Trust on Sunday learnt.The sources however said, “While the money remained in the vault, certain powerful forces mounted pressure on the acting DG, Ambassador Mohammed Dauda, who was redeployed from Chad, to use the money since it is the property of the NIA but the acting DG refused.”

 

According to our sources, the “powerful forces” pushed very hard for the money to be tampered with, saying government had forgotten all about it, but for the firm resistance of the outgoing acting DG.

 

Our sources added, “But barely two days after President Buhari named a substantive head for the agency, a black bullion van was dispatched to NIA and the money was removed to an unknown destination around 6am on Friday. The team that removed the money was accompanied by a serving military officer who was posted to the intelligence outfit months ago as the finance officer.” The total amount of money that was taken away from NIA’s vaults on Friday was $44,285,996.

 

Daily Trust on Sunday learnt that the $43million that former DG Ambassador Ayodele Oke kept at an Ikoyi apartment was part of the funds earlier released to NIA by the Federal Government as General Intervention Fund. Oke was fired from his job in October last year, six months after he was handed an indefinite suspension following the discovery of the money at an Ikoyi apartment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. When a whistle blower led EFCC to the money, NIA under Oke said the money belonged to it and was meant for unspecified undercover operations.

 

An investigative panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo probed the matter and turned in a report to President Muhammadu Buhari which indicted Oke in the scandal. Weeks after he received the report, Buhari announced in October last year that he had accepted its recommendation to terminate Oke’s appointment.

 

Secretary to the Government of the Federation [SGF] Babachir David Lawal was also sacked on the same day based on the same committee’s report, though for a separate offence. Apart from Osinbajo, other committee members were National Security Adviser Major General Mohammed Monguno and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN.

 

When Daily Trust on Sunday contacted the acting DG Ambassador Mohammed Dauda yesterday, he neither denied nor confirmed the allegation that money was moved from NIA’s vaults.

 

He however promised to investigate the matter and get back to us, but did not do so before we went to press.

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CAPDAN Tables Demands before Shittu, Seeks Improved Patronage of Local Products

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‘Computer Villagers’ at Ikeja, Lagos, have played host to the Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications, tabling their demands, especially for improved patronage of computer and allied products manufactured locally.

Operating under the auspices of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), the Body made a-five point demands which Ojikutu Adeniyi, the President, described as areas of working relationship with the Minister.

Ojikutu said, if met, the demands will improve the Nigeria’s ICT Ecosystem and show recognition of the informal sector like the Computer Village in the Ministry’s programs.

CAPDAN is the umbrella body comprising the Dealers, Vendors, Artisans, Technician and SMEs at the popular Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos.

The Body sought the Ministry’s collaboration in training to get technicians at the Computer Village to international standard and building incubation center for more training; drive local content in the ICT sector so as to develop more made in Nigeria products; help facilitate free broadband in Computer Village through the Nigeria Satellite and funding for ICT research to develop Nigeria based software.

Responding, the Minister said he is honoured to visit the Computer Village, which has made a valuable contribution to the awareness of ICT in all spheres of life of the Nigerian populace.

He disclosed that there are concrete steps to transform Computer Village into ICT regional Hub, owing to its estimated N2billion turnover per day. The Minister admitted this is a huge contribution to the Nigeria’s economy, which is largely dependent on Oil.

“The federal government is ready to partner CAPDAN, especially in the area of local content because we know you have first hand experience in terms of ICT usage,” he assured.

The Minister also noted that any ICT related product that can be produced in large quality must be discouraged from being imported, saying Nigeria cannot be a dumping ground.

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