Rewriting the Kogi Story Through ICT
By Hafsat Ibrahim
The significance of Information, Communication, Technology, ICT, is unparalleled. Globally, the deployment of ICT tools has permeated all aspects of human life.
It is with the aid of cutting-edge ICT tools that man has found better, reliable and quicker ways to socially network, access huge volume of information, and also perform sundry essential tasks.
In fact, it is an exercise in futility to attempt evaluating the sheer economic value ICT offers to many world nations. That our vast universe is described as a ‘Global Village’ is nothing but for the power of ICT.
Knowledge of every kind is made possible to cheaply and fastly acquire as a result of the global penetration of ICT, which makes information sharing and knowledge transfer effortless.
Many Nigerians are not oblivious of the giant-strides the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, under the leadership of Prof. Ibrahim Isa Ali Pantami, has recorded in the last three years.
But in Kogi, a silent revolution is taking place at the State’s Information and Communication Ministry, hence taking the ICT sector in The Confluence State, to the ‘Next Level’.
Since the assumption of Alh. Yahaya Bello as Kogi State in 2016, ICT is now the catalyst for driving government activities, policies and programmes.
To drive the ICT revolution in Kogi, the Ministry of Information and Communication, first mainstreamed IT technologies into its corporate mandates of disseminating policies and programmes of the Kogi Government.
Lo and behold, a Ministry, hitherto described as ‘dormant’ instantly was jolted back to life, and has since been playing its role as ‘Manager of Information’ for the Kogi State Government.
Again, as part of enhancing citizens’ engagement with the Bello-led government, the State Information and Communication Ministry, supervised the upgrading of the Kogi Government website to a world-class standard.
Furthermore, the Ministry also set-up a Committee to fashion out a roadmap for ICT and digital economy renaissance in The Confluence State.
And in line with Governor Bello’s vision of deploying ICT as a tool for enhancing the capacity of Kogi information managers, a free online ‘Digital Skills Training’ for information officers and reporters in the State Radio Corporation and ‘The Graphic’ Newspaper, was organised sometime in 2020.
The free tuition and certificated course covered relevant contents to improve the skills of the officers on contents development, social media optimisation and management, marketing and digital analytics, among others.
On his part, the Ministry of ICT in Kogi also designed and launched an online directory known as ‘Confluence Business Directory’. The business directory, otherwise known as CBDKOGI is a unique platform designed exclusively to connect all business establishments in Kogi to the world.
First of its kind by any State Government in the country, CBDKogi, has provided top-notch local, national, and international business exposure, for thousands of Macro and Small Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, in ‘The Confluence State’.
Like several States Government-owned facility, the Kogi State Printing Press was already ‘decaying’, anything before seven years ago. It would, however, be rescued from the ‘throes of death’ after Governor Bello approved a contract for its comprehensive rehabilitation, in 2018.
Now back to life, the Printing Press, an enterprise whose commercial viability is second to none, is currently spinning extra revenue for Kogi State.
Like the State Printing Press, the Bello-administration in Kogi, has also turned around the fortunes of the State Broadcasting Corporation.
Already meeting the demands of the 21st century and digital broadcast transmission, the Kogi Broadcasting Commission, furnished with state-of-the-art communication gadgets, now produces entertaining cum educative programmes for the delight of its viewers. It is also on the verge of running a 24/7 television production.
Furthermore, the ‘Kogi State Open Governance and Accountability Systems’ (KOGAS), an online portal for promoting citizen inclusion in governance, was recently launched by Governor Bello, with a view to fostering public accountability and transparency, in his government.
It is interesting to note that the platform is already available and open to all Kogites. KOGAS will also serve as a forum for scoring each sector of the State based on its performance, and in the long run; will fast track effective feedback mechanism for government, while equally promoting efficient service-delivery to the people of The Confluence State.
With the above highlighted feats, and others not chronicled here, Governor Bello has continued to prove to all and sundry that Kogi State will not be left at where he met it.
If his eight-year tenure will not take Kogi to the eldorado, then Bello’s masses-oriented and development-centric policies and programmes unveiled for Kogites’ benefits, have already laid the foundation for The Confluence State’s march to unprecedented greatness.