The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Gidado Mustapha has charged the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), as the coordinating agency for reforms in the country, to ensure that it conducts studies from time to time on the level of receptivity, adoption and satisfaction of businesses and general public with respect to engaging government via the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs’) online services.
The SGF, gave the charge on Thursday, at the “Official Launch of the 2019 Evaluation and Ranking of Websites of Federal MDAs,” at the Main Auditorium of Federal Ministry of Finance, in Abuja.
While delivering the keynote address, Mr. Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, office of the SGF, Dr. Habiba Lawal, noted that the continuous improvement in the accessibility of MDAs’ websites as a result of the evaluation will further promote E-services initiatives such as, issuance processes for international passport, drivers’ license, registration of businesses and e-ticketing, among others.
The SGF, expressed conviction that the objective of the exercise, which is to ensure MDAs’ websites conform to standards for best practice in delivering government services to citizens and businesses in transparent, effective and efficient manner, will not be lacking in commitment and cooperation necessary for its speedy attainment.
He said: “Since the introduction of this project in 2018, we have noticed transformation in the functionalities of MDAs’ websites in addressing the key challenges the challenges the evaluation has elicited.
“Significant progress has been recorded in addition to noticeable paradigm shift in MDAs’ websites from being a mere presentation of information to becoming platform for digital government information services and resources. This is in tandem with the priority of the current administration to fight corruption and improve transparency and accountability through open government.”
The SGF commended the Bureau and other members of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team as well as the 2018 Jury for the successful conduct of last year’s scorecard evaluation and ranking of websites of seventy MDAs.
“An exercise of this nature aiming to drive positive change has the propensity to often capture public attention. I am therefore, calling on the Jury to ensure they work together as a team and carefully balance their professionalism with integrity and transparency as the entire evaluation process demands, without undermining the public perception and credibility of the initiative,” he added.
In a welcome address, Mr. Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, the Director-General of BPSR, stated that the auspicious event is all about celebrating another milestone in the journey of reinvigorating government websites through an institutionalized mechanism called “scorecard”.
He said the scorecard has started realizing its objectives of removing constraints in accessing information on government websites, entrenching a conducive enabling environment for businesses and investments to thrive in Nigeria, reducing man to man contacts in the delivery of public goods and services, as well acting as an enabler for transforming the government and ensuring availability of its service to citizens and businesses.
“As a lead reform agency in the country, our goal is to see reforms translate to tangible improvements in the lives of the citizens. This is why we are determined, through our rebranding of public sector service initiative, to commit MDAs to deliver to the citizens, purposeful service and effectively manage government information.
“We are determined to see that governing processes for government, citizens, and businesses are simplified through digitization, a decision we are conscientiously pursuing through our partnership with Digital Bridge Institute, Galaxy Backbone, NITDA, NIRA and the Federal Ministry of Communications in upskilling the capacity of the public service to use innovation and modern technology to deliver services to citizens. In line with the aspirations of National Strategy for Public Service Reform (NSPSR), we are collaborating with the government MDAs to push the e-government strategy forward,” he added.