According to Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the implementation of the service-wide Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution, spearheaded by the Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation, will result in an annual saving of about N4.5 billion in Naira, which will be used to accelerate the digitisation and the delivery of content services platforms in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in creating a digital Nigeria.
Inuwa revealed this while presenting a paper at the one-day ECM Service-Wide Round Table Workshop on ECM implementation with the topic “The Modalities of Software Clearance on ECM Solution for MDAs” at the Rotunda Hall, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja. Inuwa was represented by the Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS), Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi.
Inuwa emphasized the significance of ECM implementation and claimed that it is a vital success factor needed by any business to survive in this contemporary and cutthroat post-Covid-19 world in order to support information accessibility, agile business processes, and compliance with governmental regulatory requirements.
He added that ECM addresses the limitations and provides the capabilities to effectively and efficiently manage the challenges imposed by the demanding business requirements of the modern world.
He said, “Constraints such as complexity of massive volumes of variant data and information that exists in a broad array of formats, complex and extended business processes spanning across the business functions and partners around the globe, the need for integration and interoperability, fulfilment of compliance to legal and regulatory requirements are expected to be resolved by the implementation of the ECM”.
“The Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) and other Government establishments are not left out in this pursuit of digital transformation excellence, which is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS 2020-2030) as well as Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 (FCSSIP 2021-2025).
“Digitalisation of Government processes facilitates transparency, efficiency, productivity, participation, inclusiveness, cost savings, and competitive advantage, which ultimately translates to social and economic development for a country like Nigeria. Therefore, digitalisation of Government processes is no longer a choice, but a must for any country aiming for development. ECM is used to manage information throughout its lifecycle, in line with the Digital Services Development and Promotion Pillar of NDEPS, among others,” he added.
According to the NITDA boss, some of the benefits of ECM to FPIs include saving employees time for mining information from physical paper documents, reduced cost of file storage and paper needs, and strengthening security by ensuring information confidentiality, integrity, availability, and increasing in regulatory compliance.
He referred to the Federal Government Circular No SGF/6/S.19/T/65 of 18th April 2006 that directed all Federal Public Institutions planning to embark on any IT project to obtain clearance from NITDA. This directive was reissued on the 31st of August 2018 with Circular Number 59736/S.2/C.II/125, reiterating the need for all FPIs and other Government establishments to relate with and obtain clearance before embarking on any IT project.
He noted that to ensure seamless implementation of this mandate, NITDA issued a Guideline on IT Project Clearance in line with the need for a coordinated, standardized, and orderly approach to the deployment of IT systems by FPIs.
He disclosed that a total of 258 projects from 97 FPIs amounting to a total investment of N152,043,373,117.25 were cleared, in 2021 and a total of N24,403,266,842.86 was saved for the Government in the same year.
In consideration of the tremendous success of the IT Projects Clearance process, the Federal Executive Council, at its sitting on the 9th March 2022, approved that FPIs must obtain a Quality Assurance Certificate from NITDA for any cleared IT project that is up to N1,000,000,000.00 or more, prior to the closure of the project. This is to further strengthen the value realisation of Government investment in Digital Transformation.
The Head of Civil Service’s ECM project has passed through the NITDA IT Clearance process. The project was granted clearance on the 23rd of February 2022 after satisfactorily meeting all the requirements, including thorough engagement with the technical personnel from the office of the Head of Civil Service as well as the potential Service Provider.
The DG concluded that ECM is the key to the transformation of FPIs into a digital and automated environment where any work process can be created and confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information are guaranteed.
While applauding the initiative by the Head of Service of the Federation in setting the pace for the implementation of ECM Inuwa called on all FPIs to key into this initiative and submit their ECM projects for Clearance by NITDA.
In her opening remarks, the Head of Service, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan elaborated on some of the processes that have been engaged in the implementation of the ECM.
She stated that her office set up a culture change joint project committee in July 2020. The committee delivered the solution, reduced the status of ECMs in various Local Government Areas, did a review of the functional and technical requirements of the ECMs platform, developed a request for a proposal for the procurement of the service provider, and went ahead to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the office of the Head of the Service and all other LGAs and have also looked at deploying infrastructural support for the effective implementation of ECM.
She added that a change and communication management team was established to conduct risk management of the ECMs and that 16 MDAs and staff in LGAs and the office of the Head of Service, through the collaboration and support of the Federal Ministry of communication and Digital Economy have already be trained.