The Nigeria Computers Society on Tuesday conferred the award of ‘Digital Governor of the Year’ on Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State in appreciation of his administration’s digital strides.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor was presented with the award at NCS’s 27th National Conference, which he declared opened at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
Prof. Sola Aderounmu, the President of the society, said that Ajimobi was given the award in recognition of his administration’s digital inclusion policies.
He stated that the society was impressed with the ingenious ways the state had proffered digital solutions to the management of its key structures and units.
The NCS boss called on 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.
Aderounmu expressed concern that 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 digitalisation.
He said: “Governor Abiola Ajimobi is deserving of this award because of his strides in deploying ICT to solve problems in governance.
“His 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 crisis in the bud.”
He commended the state government’s resolve to establish the first Technical University in the country and creation of technological hub in Ibadan for foreign investors to produce materials.
The NCS boss said that such would engender massive employment opportunities and grow the local economy.
He said: “I must say that the benefits of the internet have not been utilised 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.”
Responding, the governor said that the state was reaping the fruits of its heavy investment in digital inclusion in the management of security, payroll system, finance and other aspects of governance.
Ajimobi said that the 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 were automated.
He said: “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 digitalisation 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.”
He stated that his administration has partnered with IT and telecommunication companies, such as Huawei, MTN and Fast Deploy to install CCTV across Ibadan in furtherance of its agenda on safety and security.
Ajimobi stated that the effort was to consolidate on the peaceful environment his administration has achieved.
According to him, “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.
He said: “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.”
However, the governor urged the Federal Government and states across the country to see digitalisation and digital inclusion as the leeway to sustainable growth, good governance and responsive service delivery.
He cited the example of Finland, where he said that more than 90 per cent of her population was using the internet and in consequence adjudged the best country in the world.
NAN reports that Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State was represented at the event by Hajiya Asma’u Mohammed, Gombe State Commissioner for Information.