By Uwa Suleiman
A high powered delegation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) led by the Co-Chair, Technology and Innovation OGP Nigeria, Honourable Ejike Njeze, recently paid a courtesy call on the Director General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami (FBCS) at the Agency’s Corporate Headquaters in Abuja.
The meeting had two objectives; submission of the full report on the recently concluded 2nd CyberSecurity Conference to NITDA, and solicit the Agency’s support in driving the Open Government Partnership (OGP), as the industry’s regulator as well Co-Chair, Technology and Innovation (Representing the Public Sector).
The representative of the Organised Private Sector and Civil Societies Organisations Honourable Njeze remarked that “the meeting has laid to rest, the controversy surrounding the Government Technology Co-chair” and urged the DG NITDA to “step forward and assume his responsibility by providing the relevant support to the OGP Process in line with NITDA’s Mandate”.
National Coordinator OGP Nigeria and Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reforms, Juliet Ibekaku who formally presented the OGP National Action Plan document to the DG, disclosed that the project was a commitment signed by the President in July 2016 to implement a set of actions aimed at improving transpaency and open governance. The Agenda includes ; access to information, physical transparency, anti corruption and citizen engagement. She further emphasized that as the IT developer and regulator, NITDA is charged with the task of providing the platform for technology and innovation to thrive.
The SA to the President on Justice Reforms commended Dr Isa Ali (FBCS), for the impressive turn around in IT Compliance among MDAs since his assumption of duty as DG NITDA, urging him to extend his considerable support towards implementing the document.
In his response, Dr Pantami reiterated that technology is critical to running an open government and NITDA is prepared to throw its weight behind the national project as co-chair and in every capacity. “The Agency possesses the technical competencies required to deliver the mandate and it will not shy away from its responsibilities. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to encourage innovation, build capacities and implement the National It Policy”. He noted that the OGP forum presented the country an opportunity to fight corruption, foster transparency, encourage and support indigenous technology, drive innovation and ensure compliance in both the public and private sectors all of which fall under NITDA’s mandate.
Director, e-government development and regulatory department NITDA, Dr Abdullahi Usman Gambo expressed his delight at the immense potential of the OGP Forum and assured the delegation that the Agency will embrace its position as co-chair and representative of the federal government with professional integrity required. He also remarked that the Management Team will support the DG in the implementation of the report on the 2nd CyberSecurity Conference.
The Open Government Partnership forum is chaired by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Uwa Suleiman is SpokesPerson NITDA.