Fighting Corruption Will Advance With ICPC Digitization – Kashifu Inuwa

The automation of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) would step up efforts to combat corruption in the nation, according to the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.

During the Commission’s Courtesy Visit, which was led by its Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, SAN, Inuwa disclosed this information.

While confirming the Agency’s readiness to collaborate with ICPC to aid the digitisation of its services and monitoring corrupt practices in public institutions, Inuwa said automation is a journey and not a one-off process.

“We have over two hundred and ninety-three processes to automate but we are selecting them one after the other to achieve the goal of the Agency”.

“We do this for other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) also, we have other initiatives in place to help them achieve digital transformation”, the DG noted.

According to the Inuwa, “NITDA organises a lot of training and has a technical Working Group which started about three years ago, and saddled with the task of training representatives from different MDAs who are later asked to nominate people that will become champions to promote digital transformation in their respective organisations”.

NITDA DG, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, in a Photo with the ICPC Chairman, Dr Musa Aliyu, after the Courtesy Visit on him.

“We train them on e-Government and digital transformation in general, so that they can start the advocacy within their MDAs”.

“Moreso, we help some MDAs through the journey, like two years ago, Shippers Council came to us, we helped them with training, they documented their processes and have started automation. Also, we are currently working with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI)”, the DG said.

Inuwa reiterated the fact that although technology is a tool, if the supposed users are not ready to utilise it and open to its endless possibilities, then, the expected results would never be attained.

“If your processes are not optimised and re-engineered, it will be difficult to automate your services”, the Director-General stressed.

The NITDA Boss who took time to share with his visitors, NITDA’s digitisation trajectory, with the aid of slide shows, explained the different approaches and workings of automation as adopted in the Agency, which he said is called “NITDA Digital Transformation Playbook”.

After narrating how tedious it was during the early days of his first appointment as NITDA DG, where he practically had to deal with treating tons of memos and mails manually and at the same time had to receive guests, Inuwa recounted how the process then, affected the productivity of the Agency, which necessitated the need to build a high velocity organisation that will engender high performance and turn over the desirable results.

“To achieve that, we had to reimagine ourselves, take a closer look at our mandate to draw up salients points, then, we came up with a new vision of where we want to be as well as core values that will be binding on all in the Agency”.

“We had to develop a 2P2CT Framework (i.e. People, Process, Content, Culture and Technology) and deliberately disrupt the way we do things, so that we can come up with a new way of doing them.

Inuwa, while maintaining that corruption happens when there is a human contact, added that technology can help eliminate that.

“I believe if we can digitise government’s services, it will really address the corruption challenges we have in the country”, Inuwa averred.

The Director-General therefore affirmed that the Agency is open to supporting the Commission in its digitisation quest as well as collaborating on any other critical areas.

“Digital Transformation is a journey, it is not a one off initiative or project that you will execute and you are done, no, it is a journey which needs continuous improvement and we are willing to go on this journey with you,” Inuwa concluded.

Earlier, the ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, SAN, who summarily briefed the DG and his team on the purpose of the visit said that the possibility of fighting corrupt practices and other related offences without utilising technology is minute.

“When you look at the mandate of ICPC, the first responsibility is to ensure that it helps in preventing corruption, then investigate issues of corruption, prosecute, where there is a clear case of corruption, established through investigation. So, with a lot of changes observed over the years, particularly, since the creation of the Commission in 2000, we believe that aligning or collaborating with NITDA to digitise our processes will boost our services and speed up deliverables,” Aliyu noted.

The ICPC Chairman further stressed on the importance of technology to the overall performance of the Commission, as he expressed the hope that the digitisation process will make the Organisation more transparent, accountable, and effective, which will invariably spur the Nigerian people to have confidence in the Commission.