By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
Heads of Departments of Budget, Planning, Research, and Statistics (BPRS) across the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra State were Wednesday, handed over brand new laptops in continuation of Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s vision to equip the state workforce with digital tools.
The presentation was made after the one-day training of the BPRS departmental heads on how to effectively leverage technology for accurate and reliable data sourcing and processing measures.
The event tagged,”Empowering Data-Driven Governance Through Technology”, was put together by the State Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, in collaboration with the Anambra State ICT Agency, at the JAAC Conference Room, Government House, Awka, the State Capital.
Three months ago, the BPRS departmental heads were at Abuja for a training on how to generate data for the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Abuja.
At the training, they were encouraged to get digital work tools, as onward upload of data from the various LGAs of the state, will be done digitally.
While presenting the laptops, the Anambra Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Tony-Collins Nwabunwanne acknowledged that it is the first time the departmental heads are empowered with digital work tools, representing the governor’s commitment to digitizing the state workforce and overall vision to make a Anambra a tech-driven state.
Nwabunwanne expressed appreciation to the governor for all his policies aimed at taking the state civil service to the next level and encouraged the government officials to use the equipment to work optimally and improve their productivity.
“The Ministry is working to see how to support staff of the LGAs to acquire laptops for their self development under an easy payment pattern.
“The governor has also approved that all the LGAs be furnished with furniture for the workers and had requested all the LGAs to send in their demands.
“Today, we are witnessing this training and presentation of laptops and you all will agree that the governor is genuinely committed to transforming the Local Government System.
“All we are asking is that you ensure that the knowledge garnered is deployed to increase the revenue of the state.
“Ensure that you are exact with respect to data and figures and also work together and learn from your colleagues.
“I assure you that the trainings will continue to ensure that you are kept up-to-date on innovations in your field of endeavour,” he appealed.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, Anambra ICT Agency, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, reiterated the vision of Mr Governor to enthrone a regime that thinks technology first and leverages same in all its dealings.
According to him, the governor is driving this vision through the ICT agency and many MDAs of the state government have keyed in already.
In his words; “The target of Mr Governor with this, is to maximize data collection based on the recommendation of the revenue mobilization and fiscal commission, Abuja.
“This training will be done physically and we will follow it up with online sessions to enable the officers understand the software used for this data collection and apply them appropriately.
“We want you to be able to understand how to, as you are uploading this to the RMAC Abuja, you also upload to the state server because what we have observed is that there are no available data to work with.
“We also observed that there are no much digital work tools and this has limited the productivity of workers and this is a major strength of the private sector.
“We realized that if we don’t do anything about this, it will be a big problem for the state. So, we are introducing the PC policy to ensure that there are work tools to enable them work effectively. That is why the government is presenting the laptops to you.”
Congratulating the LGA officials on the new knowledge and work tools, CFA urged them to ensure that the impact of the work tools is felt in the way they do their work going forward.
He assured that the ICT agency will follow through to support them to internalize the digitization demands so as to make the most use of it.
According to him, “it is one Anambra, one agenda and the ICT Agency is poised to drive the vision of ‘Everything Technology and Technology Everywhere’ to fruition.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, Anambra State Local Government Service Commission, LGSC, Mr Vin Ezeaka described data as key, and noted that the efforts to use digital work tools to collect data is quite commendable.
He spoke of plans to launch the project “Own Your Laptop” for all LGA workers to ensure that tools abound to work with at the LGA system.
In their vote of thanks, the Head of Budget Planning, Research and Statistics, BPRS department, Onitsha North, Okafor Chijioke and his Nnewi North counterpart, Uche Ogbonna expressed appreciation to the governor for the training and the laptop, saying there will be a positive change in their productivity level.