By Ismail Auwal

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami has said that the Federal Government spent a total of N152 billion in the execution of digitization projects in 2021.

He made the disclosure at the closing of the 2021 Service Wide capacity building programme on e-Government at e-Government Training Centre, Abuja, on Tuesday.

Pantami noted that the funds represent the total amount approved by NITDA for CBN, NNPC, CAC, Immigration, and Customs, among other government agencies, for 2021 digital projects.

According to him, the figure represents a quantum leap from the N9 billion spent in 2019 and 2020.

He said the capacity building programme for civil servants was part of Federal Government’s e-Government Master Plan aimed at digitizing every government process in all MDAs.

The training is a train-the-trainer programme targeted at selected civil servants who in turn are expected to go back to train their counterparts in their various organizations.

About 1,376 civil servants from 48 MDAs have been trained under the scheme. This comprised 890 trained in 2021 and another 486 trained in 2020.

In addition to this program, the Minister stated that during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Ministry established two virtual platforms coordinated by NITDA and Galaxy Backbone, which also trained approximately 110,000 citizens across the country.

He said, “Our target is to train selected officers that will go back to train other civil servants.”

“From January to December 2021, NITDA approved execution of 499 projects, including backlogs from 2019 and 2020.‘’In 2021, the approval given by NITDA to agencies   for digitization amount to N152 billion, this is a major improvement on the N9 billion approved in 2019 and 2020 put together.”

“With this feat so far recorded, the Minister said the ministry plans to double the achievement in 2022.’’

He encouraged the trainees not only to apply the knowledge acquired for the improvement of the public service but also extend it to their colleagues.

He also charged the Public Service Institute to exceed the 2021 target this year and ensure that the entire Institute was fully digitised before the end of 2022.

He equally enjoined it to ensure that the training was extended to all the states across the country.

Meanwhile, the Minister has assured that the Federal government will migrate to a paperless government by 2030.

He said all necessary measures had been put in place to achieve the objective through the National Policy for Digital Nigeria.

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