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Missed timelines in Nigeria ICT Roadmap 2017-2020 worrisome

Investigations by Business Hilights on the timelines of the approved Nigeria ICT Roadmap 2017-2020 have shown that the time for the delivery of key stages and actions in the rolling plan has elapsed without any achievement.

The Nigeria ICT Roadmap 2017-2020 articulates 51 interlinked multi-stakeholder driven initiatives, of which 20 are primarily geared towards Job/ Wealth, Creation, 18 for Capacity Building and 13 have a primary focus on Government Revenue Generation.

These initiatives are government and economy-wide in scope but anchored by departments and agencies under the Federal Ministry of Communications (FMoC).

Though the policy document seen by our Abuja Bureau Chief had a provision which noted that the timelines are tentative and subject to budget availability as well as related considerations, it was not clear the main reason why the observed timelines were not met.

Some of the missed timelines slated for delivery in 2017 include sensitisation workshops, e-Government Master Plan, establishment of Project Management Office in the FMoC, setting up of innovation hubs around the country, free Wi-Fi Hotspots in designated schools across the nation, and NigKaNet Access Points (Satellite Broadband Services) in selected NIPOST offices in the federation.

By the provisions of the policy documents, these deliveries are supposed to be delivered before the end of 2017, but there seems to be no indication for their achievements after all.

Besides, industry followers are worried as government has not given any form of explanation so far.

Experts that spoke to Business Hilights said Nigerians and mainly the ICT stakeholders deserves an official explanation from the government on why the set timelines were not met in 2017.

According to them, the inability of the government to achieve the set goals for 2017 may further serve as threats for timelines of 2018.

Whereas majority of the set timelines for 2017 are not met, less than two months to the end of the year, some of the of the policy that will start this year to roll into next year include conduct a baseline audit of project status in all departments and agencies under the Federal Ministry of Communications using given templates.

From 2018, there is supposed to be the commencement of ICT Gap Analysis for MDAs, higher institutions, review and update, national ICT Policy 2012 and ICT4D.

Observers say due to the failure to achieve 2017 timelines will hobble efforts to meet up next year’s timelines which may unfortunately bungle the entire process, leading to the collapse of Nigeria’s prevailing ICT roadmap if care is not taken after all.

Under Monitoring and Evaluation as provided in the Policy, “Implementation of the projects in this Roadmap shall comply with agreed procedures between the Federal Ministry of Communications and its agencies for the monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements. Quarterly progress reports will be submitted to the Ministry by the implementing agency providing a brief summary of the status of activities and output delivery, explaining variances from the Action Plan, and presenting work–plans for each successive quarter for review and endorsement. The quarterly progress reports will provide a basis for the Performance Scorecard of the Agencies. A Terminal Report will be prepared by the Implementing Agency upon project completion, summarizing and evaluating project achievements in more detail, for review at the Meeting of Forum of Minister and Heads of Agencies (FORMHA)”.

“The Ministerial Monitoring Committee (MMC) will meet quarterly to review progress achieved. The relevant Division in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation in the Planning, Research and Statistics Department of the Ministry will analyse and report to the Permanent Secretary on a monthly basis.

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