The Benin Declaration:4th National Information Technology Public-Private Forum

At the 4th National Information Technology Public-Private Forum held recently in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria This following declaration was adopted by the participants at the  event  which …

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At the 4th National Information Technology Public-Private Forum held recently in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

This following declaration was adopted by the participants at the  event  which was organized by the Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN) and the World Information Technology and Services Alliance(WITSA) in collaboration with the Government of Edo State, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), INTELLECT (the UK Technology Industry),National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP),  Galaxy Backbone Plc,Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Association ofTelecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Institute of SoftwarePractitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Computer Professionals (Registration Council)of Nigeria (CPN) and the World Bank. Support and sponsorship for the event also came from Benue State Government, Osun State Government, National Defence College, Zinox, Omatek, Quanteq, MIS Software, Interra Networks, Jetlink,Kontemporary, AIT Infotech, ICT Publishers Alliance, Yobel, Omar, Gafunk,Programmos, Hamjos, Chace, Data Sciences, Obital and QAI Global.

The theme of the conference was: Effective e-Strategies: Path to a Digital Nigeria. Participants at the forum spoke on effective e-strategies imperative for a digital Nigeria to be a reality by the year 2020 even with the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) 2015 goals in perspective.

It was reiterated that for Nigeria to achieve a vibrant IT sector, she needs to

enhance the practice and deployment of ICT in all its affairs and also train its entireworkforce to develop skills and competencies in Information Technology.

Individuals are also to be encouraged to align their attitudes to embrace changes and advancement in technology and constantly stay abreast of growth and trends in the sector.

The present day government’s vision of transforming the economy of Nigeria

should be evident in all areas including the IT sector which is the foundation for development in every other field.

Jimson-Olufuye

Based on the foregoing, it is hereby declared that:

1. Nigeria should evolve Implementable National ICT Strategies: Without a top down ICT strategies from the Federal to the State and local government levels, with executable implementation plan and projects tied to measurable outcomes; the digital Nigeria agenda would be unattainable.

Pix:DrJimson Olufuye,President ITAN

2. Nigeria should as part of its national strategies implement e-Skills

frameworks and ICT Industry standards for IT Enabled

Services/Business Process Outsourcing (ITES/BPO) in the area of ‘light’

CMMI to be digitally relevant and competitive.

3. The Federal Government of Nigeria should abide by the Vision 20-2020

Blue print on the creation of a new Ministry and the harmonization of

government agencies in the Communications and the Information

Technology sector.

4. There is need to measure progress along the 11 WSIS Action lines.

Therefore, a yearly stock-taking report should be started by ITAN with

support from NITDA, NEPAD, NCC, CPN, NCS and Galaxy Backbone on

the lead to 2015 and 2020 to contain various ICT projects and initiatives by

states and Federal government, civil societies, and businesses on Corporate

Social Responsibility (CSR). This report could readily feed to global stocktaking processes in which Nigeria development efforts are reported.

5. All stakeholders should be guided by an appropriate IT Policy

framework and the necessary legislation to protect gains achieved.

6. There is need to deepen enlightenment and discussion on key issues such as broadband infrastructure, digital spectrum dividend, cloud computing,Cybersecurity, social networking, management of critical Internet resources,localization, cultural identity, IPR etc.

7. The goals of Digital Nigeria should be better defined and made to be understood by all stakeholders: There should be clear definition and

understanding of the goals of the digital age. Three goals of a digital age

were outlined namely: sustainable economic growth, modern public services

and a thriving local ICT sector. It was indicated that the best way to achieve

these goals are to implement ICTs thoroughly in all areas of development. It

is further to ensure digital citizens who are prepared to effectively compete

in a digital world.

8. There should be multi-stakeholder collaboration: For ICT development to grow and for Nigeria to achieve a modern economy where ICT plays a key role, government, the academic community, the technical community,the civil society and citizens must work smartly together.

9. National Economic Development should be a priority to create jobs,

wealth and improve the standard of living of the people.

10. Qualified personnel should be engaged as heads of ICT Directorates:

Well trained personnel should be placed in charge of ICT departments in

various ministries and government parastatals for any meaningful results to

be possible.

Attested to by:

Dr. Jimson Olufuye and Mrs Yemi Keri

ITAN President ,Chair NITPPF & Executive Director ICT Directorate Edo State,Co-Chair NITPPF Respectively.

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