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Lai, IIM Push For Proper Information Management, E-Governance

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Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of information and Culture

Alhaji Lai Mohammed,‎ minister of Information and Culture, has highlighted the obvious need for concerted actions of stakeholders in information management sphere to improve data management, enhance the quality, improve quality of decisions and ultimately yield outcomes beneficial to citizens. 

The Minister in a speech delivered at this year’s Institute of Information Management (IIM-Africa) annual lecture held at the University of Lagos, said that every decision, policy or programme administered by the Government uses information.

Alhaji Mohammed, who was represented by an Assistant Director at APCON, Mr. Ralph Anyacho, premised his speech on “Proper Information Management as Basis for Promoting Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance in Nigeria”, reckoned with the view that effective information management forms the bedrock for achieving President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration “Change Mantra”.

While extolling IIM-Africa’s perseverance in the pursuance of information management sectorial development, he admitted that the information that underpins government administration must be adequate, complete, discovered, accessible and usable.

He added that a key aspect of information management designed to bring about transparency, accountability, efficiency and good governance is e-Governance.

“Automation helps to strengthen government’s drive towards effective governance and increased transparency for better management of resources, for growth and development…government is leveraging broadband to provide online service portals where citizens are receive information and interact with public service administration.

“Broadband holds the potential to move government processes online, increasing the speed of service delivery, improve transparency and accountability, reduce arbitrariness, impropriety and promote cooperation across departments at different levels of government”, the Minister said. ‎

Earlier in a welcome speech, the President and Chairman of the Council, Institute of Information Management (IIM), Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, said that they have continued in our zeal to ensure that the Information Management profession is accorded the right respect and position in the society, through the various initiatives over the years.

This, Dr. Oyewole said, they believe will also go a long way, as information is a force required to power the economy and democracy.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria today is faced with 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.

“Accountable governance, the fight against corruption, and improved service delivery depend upon the availability of good quality information about decisions and actions. 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 full 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. 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,” he said.

The IIM-Africa’s President added that 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. 

“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,” he said.

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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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