As part of his administration’s commitment towards the actualisation of e-governance model in the state, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Thursday, inaugurated 1,108 computer systems meant to facilitate the first phase of the model.
The governor, who commissioned the systems inside the Department of Information Communication Technology office of the Governor’s office, Agodi, Ibadan, stated that the measure would fast-track the processes and activities of government through ICT.
The governor told members of his cabinet and ICT experts at the event that the computer systems will be distributed to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, adding that fibre-optic cables are already laid around the Secretariat, to ensure internet access and linkage by the Ministries and Agencies.
He noted that the tools needed to ensure the proper take-off of e-governance model in the state is being put in place.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the state was kickstarting the first phase of e-governance in line with the global trends.
The statement further quoted the governor as saying that by the end of his tenure, e-governance would have taken firm roots in the state.
He added that the era in which the government gets bogged down with physical files and papers should be a thing of the past in the state.
He said: “It has been really challenging in dealing with physical files. They bring files in Ghana-Must-Go bags for me to sign almost on a weekly basis. And we don’t think that in this day and age, that is what we should be doing and that is why we are starting with the first phase of e-governance in Oyo State.
“It is not just the computers you have; you have the fibre-optic being laid. All the tools that you need in there, word processing and collaboration tools are there. So, this first phase is being flagged off now and we do hope that before the end of this administration’s tenure, e-governance should have taken roots in Oyo State.
“Even, if we are not using it to approve things that have to do with money, approvals in principle can be done here (electronically), and when you get to the point where you want to give approval for things that have to do with spending the state’s money, then they bring the physical files. That will definitely reduce our turnaround time and also the heat of conducting government business.”
Earlier, the Special Assistant to the governor on Information Communication Technology, Mr. ‘Bayo Akande, said that the 1,108 Computer systems procured will be distributed to all the MDAs across the Secretariat based on their needs.
“We procured 1,108 computer systems that will be distributed across all the various MDAs. Before we procured, we carried out a survey to ask the various ministries what they actually need. So, based on their needs, we then came up with the figure.”
Speaking on the importance of the e-governance initiative, Akande said it will afford the state the opportunity to move from paper governance to e-governance.
“What to expect is e-governance. The next process is to get rid of paper files. So, this is the first phase of that. Next, we will look at how we can fully digitise the paper and approval process of all government activities.
“As the governor said previously, it is not only the computers alone but the infrastructure surrounding the computers, such as the laying of the fibre-optic cable that will link all ministries together so that they can always be in contact and talk to one another with or without internet.
“The productivity tools for all government workers to have their official email address to have access to the right word-processing tools and collaboration tools are also being attended to,” Akande added.
Some of those in attendance during the inspection by the governor include the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun; Director General of Due Process Office, Ms.Tara Adefope and the Chairman of Oyo State Advisory Council, Senator Hosea Agboola.
Others are Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr.Wasiu Olatunbosun, his counterpart in the Establishment and Training Ministry, Alhaji Ayansiju Lawal among others.