FG Launches DevsInGovernment to Improve Use of Technology in the Nigerian Civil Service

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Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy

The Federal Government of Nigeria has launched DevsInGovernment, a community of technology enthusiasts within the Civil Service who are actively contributing to, and leading digital transformation across all government institutions towards strengthening digitalisation for improved service delivery to the populace.

The initiative is to enable Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to deepen the concept of Digital Public Infrastructure as a catalyst for transforming the Nigerian Civil Service.

In his keynote address at the inauguration of DevsInGovernment, the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani, emphasized the significant role of technology enthusiasts within the Civil Service, highlighting how this community is actively driving digital transformation across all government institutions, thereby bolstering digitalization efforts for enhanced service delivery to the populace.

The Minister urged technologists and tech enthusiasts within the MDAs to further explore and expand upon the concept of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), emphasizing DPI’s potential as a catalyst for elevating the Nigerian Civil Service to a world-class institution and for enhancing government services to the people.

Dr. Tijani said the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy acknowledged the significant role that technology plays in transforming Civil Service into a high-performing, efficient and citizen-centred institution, emphasizing that the need to transform government services is the foundation to prosperity and the enabler to Nigeria’s progression towards the building of other digital capabilities in government.

According to him, the mandate of this government is to popularise the concept of digital public infrastructure in the system by promoting the use of technology to effectively deliver government services.

Highlighting the abundant opportunities inherent in the application of DPI, he emphasized its potential to empower civil servants to carry out tasks with greater robustness and efficiency.

He clarified that DPI is not solely about centralizing all solutions, but rather about promoting the use of technology in government services through an effective system and infrastructure to optimize delivery. He reiterated that digitalization transcends mere e-Government initiatives or system automation, saying it entails leveraging technology to fundamentally transform services, leading to improved deliverables.

Addressing over 400 participants at the inaugural event, the Minister underscored the core purpose of establishing the DevsInGovernment platform saying it is to foster the exchange of ideas that can catalyze positive change and enhance Nigeria’s societal fabric.

Dr. Tijani affirmed the Ministry’s unwavering commitment to empowering and fostering collaboration among technologists. He emphasized that this collaborative effort aims to facilitate knowledge sharing and spur innovation, ultimately resulting in a more efficient, transparent, and responsive government. In line with this commitment, he announced that discussions regarding this innovative initiative would take place monthly, with provisions for training opportunities to enhance productivity in the future.

Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Engr. Faruk Yusuf Yabo harped on the need to have in place an enabling environment, a regulatory framework, infrastructure, computing power devices and skilled manpower to achieve a desired development. He stated that he believes that sharing of ideas is critical to the operationalisation of DPI to enhance the delivery of government services.

In his welcoming address, Mr. Abdul-Malik Suleiman, the Acting Managing Director/CEO of Galaxy Backbone, said digital transformation stands at the core of the government’s agenda, pointing out that this commitment is reflected in the appointment of a young and dynamic Minister to lead the digital sector. Mr. Suleiman stated that the gathering of technologists aims to enhance their intellectual capabilities as key drivers of the system, aligning with the government’s vision for advancing technology and innovation in the country.

He further stressed that DevsInGovernment provides a platform for professionals in the civil service to be drivers of the technology in the 21st century, and also to go through different stages of learning in order to create a transformative public service that will in the long run give birth to a prosperous Nigeria.

The Minister clarified that “DPI is not about centralising all our solutions, but it is how to promote the use of technology in government services through an effective system and infrastructure for optimal delivery”.

The Minister thanked the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Galaxy Backbone (GBB) as co-sponsors of the new initiative and the cooperation of other sister agencies under the watch of the ministry.