Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Thursday, inaugurated 1,108 computer systems meant to facilitate the first phase of the State’s e-governance model, as part of his administration’s commitment towards the actualisation of e-governance in the State.
The Governor, who commissioned the systems inside the Department of Information Communication Technology, ICT, of the Governor’s Office, Agodi, Secretariat, Ibadan, stated that the measure would fast-track the processes and activities of government through ICT, as 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 told members of his cabinet and ICT experts at the event that the computer systems would be distributed to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, adding that fibre-optic cables were already laid around the Secretariat, to ensure internet access and linkage by the MDAs.
Makinde noted that the State was kickstarting the first phase of e-governance in line with global trends and the tools needed to ensure the proper take-off in the State was being put in place, saying that by the end of his tenure, e-governance would have taken firm roots in the State.
He said: “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,” he explained.
Earlier, the Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT, Mr ‘Bayo Akande, said that the 1,108 Computer systems procured would 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,” he revealed.
Akande asserted that the e-governance initiative is important because it would afford the State the opportunity to move from paper governance to e-governance in the first phase while the second would be to get rid of paper files and then examine how to fully digitise the paper and approval process of all government activities.
He said, “It is not only the computers 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 the 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.