The Niger State Ministry of Science and Technology recently held a stakeholders forum on the development of the State ICT policy in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) of Nigeria. The forum was held at Gidan Matasa, Minna on Tuesday, 15th April 2013. Theme of the program was: Imperative of ICT in the Attainment of Vision 3:20 20.
Well attended from important personalities and stakeholders in Niger state, the program was coordinated by Development Advisory Consultants. Special Guest of Honour was Hon. Barr. Adamu Usman, Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Chairman of the Occasion: Barr. Abass Bello, Niger state Head of Service, while the Chief Host was Dr. Mustapha Ibrahim Lemu, Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology, Niger State.
Niger state forum also had a guest speaker who spoke on the ICT policy development process before the gathering broke up into focus sessions to review the policy. Technical sessions were on: ICT Infrastructure, e-Government, ICT in Agriculture, ICT in Education, ICT in Health, ICT in Tourism and Culture.
Dr. Mustapha Ibrahim Lemu, Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology, Niger State welcomed all participants and commended them for their interest and commitment to the cause. He appreciated the impressive turnout of a wide range of stakeholders.
In his remarks, the Chairman observed with delight that NITDA had recognized the state’s efforts towards the entrenchment of ICT as a veritable tool for the attainment of the state’s vision of becoming one of the top three economies in the country by the year 2020. He noted that the state had demonstrated commitment by demerging the Ministry of Science and Technology and implementing relevant ICT and ICT related programmes such as the e-compliance training programme, civil servants computer ownership scheme and the State ICT Park. According to him Niger state supports and is totally committed to the stakeholder forum because the government recognizes that the effective use of ICT requires cross sectoral collaboration and multistakeholder approach.
Lead Consultant, Bankole Olubamise, commented on contributions and outcomes which he noted would be used to update the draft ICT policy to make it more relevant to the vision and aspiration of Niger state and its citizens. He commended the inclusive nature of the process noting that several commissioners – Science & Technology, Agriculture and health participated. In addition the guest of honour, the Speaker of the state assembly, who was represented by the Chair for house committee on Science and Technology, nine permanent secretaries of the line ministries as well as Planning and Budget, and their various directors all contributed their time and ideas in the process. Academia, students, women, NGOs all engaged constructively. A drama touch was added with a highly entertaining sketch on the use of ICT.
When the process is inclusive, implementation will become easy because everyone was carried along.
Closing remarks were delivered by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Minna who commended participants for their time and invaluable contributions. He reiterated the Ministry and government’s commitment to the process and to the strategic exploitation of ICT to achievement of sustainable, inclusive development and prosperity in Niger state.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Niger state turnout and contribution were impressive during the ICT policy stakeholders forum. Please share your comments, thoughts and opinions.
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