By: BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Tuesday identified digitalization and digital inclusion as the only way to sustainable growth, good governance and responsive service delivery.
The governor stated this while speaking at the conferment of award of ‘Digital Governor of the Year’ on him by the Nigeria Computers Society.
According to Governor. Ajimobi, there is the urgent need for the Federal Government and states across the country to see digitalization and digital inclusion as the leeway to sustainable growth, good governance and responsive service delivery.
Governor Ajimobi stressed in Finland, more than 90 per cent of the country’s population was using the internet and in consequence adjudged the best country in the world, and that in Oyo state, the state has been reaping the fruits of its heavy investment in digital inclusion in the management of security, payroll system, finance and other aspects of governance.
According to Governor Ajimobi, Oyo state had attained the status of a digital hub where different policies and engagements such as security of lives and property, finance, civil service efficiency, contracts and procurements had been automated, saying, “we embarked on a well-rounded automation drive that was launched at the beginning of this administration, results of which we are now reaping.”
“We have been able to identify many parts of digitalization applicable to general operations in governance. Our effort at making Oyo State a digital hub is being felt in security, administration, finance, the civil service and other aspects of governance. In the furtherance of our agenda on safety and security and to consolidate on the peace we have achieved, we have partnered with IT and telecommunication companies, such as Huawei, MTN and Fast Deploy, to install CCTV across major centres in Ibadan.” ,he said.
The governor added “in our civil service, the concept of e-governance is being felt. We introduced biometrics, which has helped in the creation of a functional digital database for the entire civil service.”, saying, “,this, on its own, is a major plus as it has helped to check the problem of ghost and ineffective workers, as well as aiding payment automation.”
Presenting the award to Governor Ajimobi at the 27th national conference of the Nigeria Computers Society (NCS) at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan, in Ibadan,
the Society’s President, Professor Sola Aderounmu, disclosed that the governor was given the award in recognition of his administration’s digital inclusion policies.
Professor Aderounmu stated that the award of ‘Digital Governor of the Year’ was in appreciation of Governor Ajimobi administration’s digital strides in governance, saying, the society was also impressed with the ingenious ways the state had proffered digital solutions to the management of its key structures and resources
“Governor Ajimobi is deserving of this award because of his strides in deploying ICT to solve problems in governance. The success story range from administrative efficiency, prompt accounting system, effective health and education policies as well as security of lives and properties.
When you talk of states that are peaceful in Nigeria today, you won’t count three before mentioning Oyo. The state uses CCTV to monitor flashpoints in Ibadan to nip crises in the bud,,” he said.
While asking the Federal Government “to formulate digital inclusion policy in order to overcome challenges confronting the country in the areas of health, economy, security and other facets of life.” the governor said the benefits of Information Technology have not been fully harnessed, judging by the exclusion of a good number of women, children and the physically-challenged from the benefits of digitalization.
“The resolve of the state to establish the first Technical University in the country and creation of technological hub in Ibadan for foreign investors to produce materials, which will engender massive employment opportunities and grow the local economy, is also commendable.
But, I must say that the benefits of the internet have not been utilized as expected in Nigeria. The consequence is that women, individuals living with disabilities, the poor and the rural populace have become extensively digitally excluded.With nationwide presence and proper digital inclusion, healthcare delivery, poverty reduction, job creation, education, governance, food security and social harmony in the society will be greatly enhanced.”
Governor Ajimobi however tasked the Federal Governmentand states across the country to see digitalization and digital inclusion as the leeway to sustainable growth, good governance and responsive service delivery.
At the programme, Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state, was represented by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Hajia Ashimowu