By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
In his bid to digitize every sector of the state’s economy, the Governor Chukwuma Soludo led Administration, Friday June 2, in Awka, the Anambra State Capital, introduced E-Identification Scheme.
The scheme is aimed at implementing Government’s Initiative and also nip in the bud ghost workers.
Addressing a press conference at her office in Awka, the Head of Service, Anambra State, Barr Theodora Okwy Igwegbe, stated that at this digital age, the implementation of E-government initiatives had become imperative for efficient and transparent governance.
According to her, the essential aspect of the transformation was the adoption of e-identification schemes, which, she said, provided secure and reliable verification of individuals’ identities, noting that there was no gain saying the fact that Anambra State could greatly benefit from the implementation of such a scheme for its civil servants.
‘One of the primary benefits of an e-identification scheme is the improved efficiency it brings to administrative processes. Traditional identification methods, reliant on physical documents and manual verifications, are time-consuming and prone to errors. By adopting an E-identification scheme, Anambra State civil servants can streamline their interactions with various government agencies, eliminating repetitive paperwork and reducing bureaucratic delays.
‘This automation not only saves time but also enables civil servants to focus on their core responsibilities, ultimately enhancing productivity across board.
‘The implementation of an e-identification scheme significantly strengthens the security measures surrounding civil service operations. Physical documents are susceptible to loss, theft, or forgery, posing a considerable risk to the integrity of the system. With e-identification, each civil servant is assigned a unique digital identity, backed by robust encryption protocols and authentication mechanisms.
‘This ensures that only authorized individuals can access sensitive information or conduct transactions, reducing the likelihood of identity theft and fraudulent activities.
‘By safeguarding personal data and maintaining the privacy of civil servants, an e-identification scheme establishes a secure environment for effective governance.
‘Accountability is a crucial aspect of any well-functioning civil service. An e-identification scheme provides a comprehensive audit trail, enabling the tracking and monitoring of activities performed by civil servants.
Through this digital system, Anambra State can establish a transparent framework that records interactions, transactions, and decision-making processes.
‘This fosters a culture of accountability by deterring corrupt practices and ensuring that civil servants are held responsible for their actions.
Furthermore, the availability of accurate and reliable data assists in the evaluation of performance, enabling the identification of areas that require improvement and facilitating evidence-based decision-making, she said.
Mrs Igwegbe said the scheme could significantly enhance service delivery for Anambra State civil servants, noting that by digitizing identification processes, civil servants could access government services more conveniently, reducing paperwork and minimizing the need for physical presence.
She further explained that digital transformation empowered civil servants to engage in online training, access relevant resources, and collaborate remotely, thereby facilitating professional development and fostering knowledge-sharing within the civil service.
‘Moreover, streamlined processes and faster turnaround times result in improved public service delivery, ultimately benefiting the citizens of Anambra State.
‘While the implementation of an e-identification scheme brings numerous advantages, it is essential to acknowledge and address potential challenges. Some of the common concerns include data security, infrastructure readiness, and digital literacy. To mitigate these challenges, robust cybersecurity measures are being put in place, including encryption, firewalls, and regular audits.
Additionally, investments should be made in developing the necessary digital infrastructure, such as reliable internet connectivity and provision of WiFi. Simultaneously, training and capacity-building programmes should be implemented to enhance digital literacy among civil servants and ensure a smooth transition to the e-identification scheme. The Government of Anambra State is working assiduously towards the mitigation of these challenges,’ she said.
Optic fibres, she further explained, were being laid, and that in no distant time, free WiFi would be provided for us.
Mrs Igwegbe said that despite those challenges, implementation of the e-identification had been realised as government had been able to surmount the difficulties.
‘The motivation to birth a modern civil service that really delivers on the manifesto of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, is more than enough to trump any implementation challenges that may be encountered.
‘I applaud the efforts and ingenuity of ANSICTA in creating this laudable scheme and finally, I thank immensely the Governor of Anambra State for approving this wonderful initiative,’ the HoS concluded.
For his part, the MD/CEO of the Anambra State ICT Agency, Mr Fred Chukwuemeka Agbata, said that the public presentation of what he called the SOLUTION E-ID CARD Scheme was for civil servants and all other government employees, noting that it was another milestone initiative for the Anambra State Civil Service, coming just a month after the Phase-1 distribution of 200 laptops and computers to civil servants and political appointees to enhance the digitization processes in the state.
He stated that it was a strong demonstration of the Agency’s determination to give Soludo 100% support with the execution of his vision of “Everything Technology and Technology Everywhere”.
‘The conception and development of the E-ID Card Scheme was inspired by the need to strengthen identity management so that both the state government and its citizens can easily identify civil servants and all other government employees.
‘The SOLUTION E-ID Card was made possible through the Collaboration between the State Government and Academia through the Agency’s Solution Internship Programme which was launched earlier in the year. The programme is conceived as a bridge between the State Government and the Academia to build the next generation of code warriors that can innovate and produce a variety of technological advancements that support Mr Governor’s Everything Technology and Technology Everywhere,’ he said.