By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah
President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the implementation of the Single Treasury Account (TSA) and enforcement of Biometric Verification Number (BVN) save Nigeria over N24.7 billion monthly.
Buhari made this disclosure today at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) e-Nigeria Conference which held in Abuja.
According to him, a renewed focus on information and communications technology (ICT) has had positive effects on the nation’s economy, noting that the sector has recorded huge investments and contributes over 10% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said enforcement of the policy on TSA have so far consolidated over 20,000 accounts, resulting into about N4.7 billion monthly savings.
Similarly, President Buhari also said the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and BVN has helped to eliminate the menace of ghost workers thereby reducing waste in the system by saving government over N20 billion monthly.
Buhari regretted that about 80% of ICT hardware purchases are imported through local distributors of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) by MDAs and other government establishments.
Furthermore, he explained that this makes it difficult for the government to benefit from the dividends of continuous procurement and consumption of ICT infrastructure and limited value retention within the country.
As the most populous country in Africa, he explained that there are huge opportunities for ICT manufacturing in Nigeria and this, when harnessed, will provide job opportunities for the teaming youths, enhance the quality of locally produced infrastructure, reduce cost of acquisition and increase government revenue.
Buhari said “We have done a lot to transform our government especially in the areas of strategy, policies and digital infrastructure investments.
“You may recall that on assumption of office, we enforced the policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA). Today, we are all witnesses to the impact it has made on our financial management.
“We have so far consolidated over 20,000 accounts, resulting into about N4.7 billion monthly savings. In addition the policy facilitated transparency, accountability and ease of transactions and payments between Government and businesses as well as Government and citizens.
“Another initiative leveraging on ICT and making huge impact on the economy is the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN). Its implementation has helped to eliminate the menace of ghost workers thereby reducing waste in the system by saving government over N20 billion monthly.
“This administration recently issued an Executive Order mandating all ministries, departments and agencies to give preference to locally manufactured goods and services in their procurement of information technology services.
“Such measures are part of the deliberate efforts at encouraging local manufacture of ICT infrastructure, creating job opportunities, providing investment opportunities as well as strengthening our currency. We commend NITDA’s efforts on fostering the patronage of indigenous IT products and services through continuous engagement with indigenous OEMs, relevant stakeholders and other laudable initiatives.
“ICT plays a pivotal role with agencies of government such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) which have leaned on ICT in improving public service delivery in an efficient and transparent manner. So far, 31 reforms have been completed by the Council and these reforms are already making noticeable impact on our economic diversification efforts.
“The Agency’s efforts at enforcing Federal Government’s directive on ensuring that all ICT projects in the country are cleared by it before implementation are highly commendable.
“These efforts will ensure that government’s ICT procurements are transparent, they are aligned with government’s IT shared vision and policy, save costs through promotion of shared services, avoid duplication, ensure compatibility of IT systems thereby improving efficiency across government and enforce the patronage of indigenous companies,” he stated.
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