e-Government Development and Regulation Department
The National Information Technology Policy (NITP) 2000 and the subsequent National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Act 2007 are integral part of the country’s larger development agenda. NITDA was established to implement NITP, give effect to provisions of the NITDA Act, 2007 and coordinate general IT development in the country using the NITDA Act as an enabling law. The IT enabling environment efforts were sponsored by the government having realized the strategic role of IT as the major driver and enabler of good governance and national development. The major component of NITP vision statement is to enable the country use IT as the engine for sustainable development and global competitiveness. This is corroborated by the Agency’s mission which is to develop and regulate Information Technology for sustainable national development.
NITDA is mandated to serve as the clearing house for all IT projects and infrastructural in the public sector. It is the prime Agency for e-government implementation, Internet governance and general IT development in Nigeria. It has also been realized by the government that the country’s sustainable development and global competitiveness cannot be achieved without an efficient and effective public sector since public service is the engine room for implementing government’s developmental policies, programmes and regulations. Hence, e-government development and the regulation of the acceptable use of IT in both public and private sectors must be taken seriously. This consciousness has steered Federal government through NITDA to embark on several IT developmental initiatives, strategies, programmes, frameworks and guidelines in which some of them led to the establishment of National e-Government Strategies (NeGSt), Galaxy Backbone Limited and Office of the Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC) among others to support e-Government development, IT infrastructure deployment, IT regulations and ICT local content development in the country.
Setting up a function to coordinate these efforts targeted at e-Government development and IT regulations is strategic to NITDA as the umpire and authority for IT development and regulations. This lacuna has been there and must be covered, that is, coordinating e-government development activities and regulating the acceptable use of IT in both private and public sectors in Nigeria. Therefore, the present management of NITDA led by Isa Alli Ibrahim (PhD) in its restructure efforts that are hinged on seven strategic focus areas established e-Government Development and Regulations (e-GDR) Department to close the gap. The strategic focus areas are capacity building, regulation, digital job creation, government digital service promotion, local content development and promotion, cyber security and digital inclusion. eGDR is strategic to the implementation of the focus areas.
In addition, it has been reported that the rate of failure of e-government projects in countries with developing economies was very high- estimated at around 60-80 per cent (with the higher rate of failure in Africa) leading to “a massive wastage of financial, human and political resources, and inability to deliver the potential benefits of e-government to its beneficiaries despite huge amount of investment in government information systems. So, it became necessary to develop a strategy that will guide the Department in carrying out its functions effectively without unavoidably fall into the common pitfalls of e-government development and IT regulations.
It is on this note that the Department is developing a six-year strategic roadmap and implementation plan to provide strategic direction for facilitating and coordinating e-government development and IT regulations through partnerships at low cost and fast pace on behalf of NITDA for sustainable national development of the country. The strategic roadmap is divided into short, medium and long terms respectively within the six years. This strategy has been developed having assessed all relevant Federal government’s policies, initiatives etc. related to e-government and IT regulations.
In addition to the statutory functions of e-GDR Department, it will pursue the following objectives in the next six years:
- To support the development of government e-services for responsive, efficient, effective and equitable delivery of public service to all people in strategic sectors of the economy;
- To facilitate the development, implementation, compliance and enforcement of critical e-Gov/IT regulatory instruments such as Policies, Standards, Guidelines, frameworks and Regulations;
- To facilitate and promote integration of critical National IT infrastructure and services for e-government development; and
- To initiate and drive sustainable e-government capacity building and research for the public sector.
The Department is made up of the following units:
- e-Government Services Coordination and Capacity Development
- Domain Administration & Management
- Regulations and Licensing
- Monitoring and Compliance
- Outsourcing Development & Regulation
- To ensure coordination and implementation of National e-Government Master Plan;
- To develop and drive strategies that will encourage and improve the adoption of the use of Information Technology in government service delivery;
- To coordinate the government’s adoption of IT tools in service delivery;
- To coordinate and drive the development of e-government capacity among MDAs;
- To collaborate with MDAs in developing tailor made plans and strategies for e-Government in Nigeria;
- To regulate and license vendors that intend to do business or collaborate with MDAs in the delivery of IT products and services;
- To monitor and ensure the implementation of Standards for Government websites and handle matters relating to the .gov.ng domain;
- To monitor and ensure compliance with all NITDA regulatory documents, National IT policies and directives; and
- To develop and regulate outsourcing in the IT sector as well as license all IT Outsourcing Practitioners.