Lack of information management engendered missed opportunities to maximise Nigeria’s full value – IIM
Technology in the hands of businessmen
Information management experts say that poor data, information and records in Nigeria have led to missed opportunities to maximise the full value of publicly funded projects and programmes in the country.
Oyedokun Oyewole, president/chairman, Governing Council of the Institute of Information Management (IIM), said during the annual lecture induction and awards ceremony of the Institute, which held at the weekend.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria today is faced with massive amounts of data that must be harmonised and integrated in order to meet mission requirements and deliver relevant, consistent and current information to other government entities and the constituents they serve.
“Accountable governance, the fight against corruption, and improved service delivery depend upon the availability of good quality information about decisions and actions. It is obvious form recent happenings in government that Nigeria as a nation is yet to have full control over the records and information being generated, used and transmitted by the government, as government struggle to manage their public records in accordance with international good practice standards,” Oyewole said.
Records, as defined in international standards, are any information created, received and maintained as an asset by an organisation or person, in pursuit of legal obligations or in the transaction of a business.
It is therefore important to link together all of the required as records in order for government to plan efficiently, according to experts.
Oyewole in his speech stated that managing public sector records as a basis for accountability, transparency and good governance was a systemic issue rather than an issue relating to any particular record type.
For example, if through its properly managed and transparent database, government can know exactly how many people are currently in the workforce, they can make plans to create more jobs and have a well thought out pension/retirement scheme for the population. With the exact number of children in the country, the education sector can be planned and managed more appropriately. In the long run, this would reduce government spending, as plans will be made according to recorded data and there will be no wastage as a result of estimated guess work in investing and building infrastructure.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, represented at the event by Ralph Anyacho, assistant director, Planning Research and Strategy, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), said the current administration was particularly interested in the development of information communication technology (ICT), as it was the essential tool required for the growth of Nigeria.
“Government is increasingly leveraging on the growth of ICT and broadband to provide online service portals where citizens can receive any information and interact with government services and administration.
“We cannot talk about ICT without talking about broadband, and broadband has the potential to move government processes online, thereby increasing the speed of service delivery, improve transparency and accountability, reduce habitual impropriety and promote cooperation across departments at different levels of government,” he said.
The IIM Africa, however, urged the Nigerian government to make available trustworthy records in order to allow proper functionality of other systems.
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