By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his government is saving N24.7 billion monthly by implementing the policies of Treasury Single Accounts (TSA), Bank Verification Number (BVN) and Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the country.
The President revealed this yesterday in his speech at the opening ceremony of the 2017 e-Nigeria conference organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Abuja.
Buhari said “We have done a lot to transform our government especially in the areas of strategy, policies and digital infrastructure investments.
“You may recall that on assumption of office, we enforced the policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA). Today, we are all witnesses to the impact it has made on our financial management.
“We have so far consolidated over 20,000 accounts, resulting into about N4.7 billion monthly savings. In addition the policy facilitated transparency, accountability and ease of transactions and payments between Government and businesses as well as Government and citizens.
Another initiative leveraging on ICT and making huge impact on the economy is the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN). Its implementation has helped to eliminate the menace of ghost workers thereby reducing waste in the system by saving government over N20 billion monthly.”
The President said that the ICT was strategic in driving productivity and efficiency in all sectors of the economy stressing that almost all facets of the nation’s economy leverage on ICT to increase efficiency, productivity and performance.
“The sector has recorded huge investments and contributes over 10% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and we are making conscious efforts to see that this contribution continues to grow in the next few years,” he noted.
Buhari however regretted that about 80 percent of ICT hardware purchases are imported through local distributors of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) by MDAs and other government establishments.
According to him, “This makes it difficult for us to benefit from the dividends of continuous procurement and consumption of ICT infrastructure and limited value retention within the country.”
He pointed out that Nigeria, as the most populous country in Africa, should exploit the opportunities of her high consumption to encourage investments in the manufacturing of ICT hardwares and thereby create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the country.
While reminding the organizers about the Executive Order mandating all ministries, departments and agencies to give preference to locally manufactured goods and services in their procurement of information technology services, Buhari challenged them to make the country an export hub for ICT hardware in Africa.