NeGSt was created in March 2004 and mandated by the Federal Government of Nigeria to operate, drive and implement the Nigerian eGovernment programs under a Private Public Partnership model.
Find below details arranged in chronological order, the events that heralded the adoption of electronic governance (eGovernment) as a Federal Government policy and its implementation as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Nigeria as follows:
1. The adopted eGovernment initiative is a spin-off of the space program jointly pioneered by Prof. Ajayi Boroffice and Dr. Felix Babatunde Obada in collaboration with the governments of the United Kingdom, Algeria, South Africa, China and the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. This resulted in the successful launch of the NigeriaSat-1 satellite into the Lower Earth Orbit in September 2003, using as launch vehicle, the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile decommissioned by Russia for peaceful commercial applications. After the successful launch of the NigeriaSat-1, a telecommunication satellite, carrying 16 transponders was launched in 2006 into the geo-stationary orbit. The technological millage and experience garnered from the epoch-making achievement of that time emboldened the Federal Government of Nigeria to embark on the movement of government businesses from analogue to digital technology, applying home-grown resources and without any expensive foreign intervention. This fact was captured in the letter ref: HMST/FMST/010/VIII dated 23 January 2004 which stated as follows:
‘’ In the light of the foregoing, Your Excellency is hereby respectfully invited to: Note that his administration has effectively laid the foundation for eGovernment by adopting a national policy on information and communication technologies launching a data acquisition satellite’’.
Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, then Director General of the Nigerian Space Research and Development Agency is now the Deputy Majority Leader of the 9th senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- National eGovernment Strategies Ltd (NeGSt) was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 05 March 2004. The Certificate of Incorporation, the Memorandum and Articles of Association, (MEMAT) the Stamp Duty receipt No. 318584 of 03/03/04; the Trademark Registration No. 73525 of 26 November 2008 are all available.
- The three (3) signatories to the MEMAT are as listed below:
a) Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (Representing Federal Government)
b) Don Langford and Company Limited (Representing Private Sector)
c) Materials Management Services Limited (Representing Private Sector)
NeGSt is therefore an idea created by the government and registered as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Organized Private Sector. In the partnership arrangement, NeGSt has been responsible for all payments.
This, being the government of the day’s innocent interpretation of the PPP concept, long before the establishment of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC). In the old PPP arrangement, the Ministry of Science and Technology was represented by the National Information Development Agency (NITDA) whose shareholding is gratis; while Dr. Olu Agunloye and Dr. Felix Babatunde Obada are the representatives of Don Langford and Materials Management Services respectively. The NITDA of today is no longer a parastatal of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
- The appointment of Messrs Don Langford and Materials Management Services Ltd as Consultants and Strategic Partners to the National eGovernment project was confirmed in the letter ref: NITDA/HQ/157/VOL1 of 18 December 2003. Said letter stated inter alia: ‘’Consequent upon this appointment, you are expected to act in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), a parastatal of ……. Under this partnership, a joint venture will be registered as National eGovernment Standards Limited …”.
The letter went further to enjoin the Consultants and Strategic Partners to:
‘’Ensure the development of streamlined and fully harmonized eGovernment programmes for Nigeria so as to ensure government information is accurate, safe, reliable and protected …‘’.
- Further to the officially assigned mandate, the law firm of Messrs Johnson & Wilner was instructed by NITDA to incorporate the company with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Messrs Johnson & Wilner, through their letter of January 15, 2004 demanded the sum of N13, 607,500 from the Strategic Partners, being the cost for the CAC search, filing fees, stamp duty etc. required for the incorporation of NeGSt.
- The CAC, in their letter ref: CAC/COM/AC/11/119 of 24th February 2004 conveyed her consent to NITDA’s application of January 22, 2004 to use the word ‘’National’’ in the registration of National eGovernment Strategies Ltd.
- The inauguration of NeGSt was handled as a national event with the full compliments of a Local Organizing Committee of eleven (11) members, seven (7) of which were federal government appointees. In his letter of 23 February 2004 to the members of the Local Organizing Committee, then NITDA Director General, Prof G.O Ajayi; stated thus:
‘’As you may be aware, the President, Commander-in-Chief has cleared the 8th March 2004 to enable His Excellency to declare open the Stakeholders Conference on National eGovernment Implementation for Nigeria’’.
The said stakeholders conference was held at the Banquet Hall of the Hilton Hotel Abuja and addressed by the president in the presence of State Governors, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Departments and Agencies of Government, Heads of the Armed Forces, Bank CEOs, Business Leaders, IT professionals, Heads of the Diplomatic Community, and the Press.
8. Report of meeting ref: SH/COS/70/A/2042 of 2nd November 2004 and titled: Report of meeting with the President on Programmes and Implementation Strategies for eGovernment in Nigeria held at the State House on Monday 18th October 2004, granted NeGSt official recognition as the highest echelon of governance and also commended the Promoters of the Nigeria eGovernment Programmes and recommended its implementation as a national project, covering the Federal, State and Local Government levels nationwide for the development of Information and Communication Technology to benefit Nigerian citizens within the context of the World Information Society. In approving the programmes and activities of NeGSt, government charged the company to ensure that: ‘’adequate protection is put in place so that citizens may not lose their privacy’’.
9. Prof. Ode Ojowu, then Chief Economic Adviser to the President and Chairman of the National Planning Commission (and presently a member of President Buhari’s Economic Management Team), again presented the eGovernment programme to all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria at the Ministerial retreat held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on 17th and 18th August, 2005; this with a view to introducing eGovernment as a national project and ensuring that the initiative enjoy wide acceptance. This followed our successful presentation of the eGovernment project and demonstration of the newly proposed eImmigration and ePassport to the Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa on 5 August 2005.
10. Further confirmation of the validity, legality and acceptance of the national eGovernment idea is as contained in the extract from conclusions of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council held on Wednesday 18th October 2006, ref: EC (2006) 40th which approved the implementation of eImmigration, eJudiciary, eRevenue, eKiosk, eTourism, eProcurement etc. as part of the Nigerian eGovernment Programme.
Other Federal Government executive validation is as contained in the circular
Ref: OHCSF/MSO/702/VOL.1/7 of 16th August 2006, to all Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Extra-Ministerial Departments, Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation, Surveyor-General of the Federation, Chief Registrar Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Director-General and Chief Executives of Parastatals and Agencies; in which M. Yayale Ahmed, CFR, Head of Civil Service of the Federation said inter alia:
‘’As you are aware, the National eGovernment Strategies (NeGSt) was established as a Public Private Partnership and officially launched by Mr. President to facilitate the implementation of the Nigerian eGovernment Project’’.
11. Cognisant of the enormous responsibility reposed on NeGSt by government, the company along with her Service Providers developed adequate technical competence and risk management capabilities and worked quietly behind the scenes to police the establishment of eGovernment systems applicable to the eImmigration, eVisa, eNaira, eJudiciary, etc offerings to which there are subsisting contracts with a view to ensuring that Nigerians receive value for their money.
12. In particular, NeGSt has been able to develop, under its platform critical programmes to facilitate the development of eGovernment practice in Nigeria, amongst which are:
a. Framework for the eNigeria platform
- Interoperability framework for eGovernment in Nigeria
- eReadiness Capacity Building Programmes for Ministers, Commissioners Permanent Secretaries, and various MDAs at the Federal level and State Governments throughout Nigeria as well as at the Local Government levels
- Specific eReadiness Capacity Building for all Tertiary Hospitals in Nigeria at the Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja on eHealth and Telemedicine in 2005 eSpecific eReadiness Capacity Building for all Ministers of the Federal Republic at the Presidential Villa in 2005
- Specific eReadiness Capacity Building for all Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Republic at the Niger State Conference Centre in 2008
- Specific eReadiness Capacity Building for all National Youth Service Officials Nationwide at Niger State Conference Centre, Minna in 2008
- Specific eReadiness Capacity Building for all Local Government Chairmen in Nigeria at the International Conference Centre, Abuja in 2009
- Vertical eEnabled programmes for Government agencies such as eNYSC, eParliament, eMillitary, eInterior, eAuthentication, eHealth, eForm, eImmigration, eState, eLocalGoverment, ePayment, etc.
- On ePayment, NeGSt has developed the electronic version of the Nigerian Naira, otherwise known as eNaira and introduced same to the Central Bank of Nigeria for implementation as a means of strengthening the Naira, ensuring financial inclusion, banking the unbanked population, trading with Nigeria’s neighbours without further encumbrances by the dollar denominated foreign currencies.
- In addition to these, we have worked with the Service Providers on our stable and have continued to troubleshoot the system with a view to fishing out problems and rectify them before they occur while at the same time, ensuring that our platform nationwide and across the globe is available, reliable and functioning at optimum capacity. In line with the assurances given to the Federal Government therefore, we are pleased to show you the template of our Monitoring and Evaluation Worksheet used by our Assessors to prevent cybercrime, safeguard the privacy of the Users of our offerings and ensure improvement in Nigeria’s score in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rating.
- As you may be aware, any item connected to the worldwide web is subject to hacking. Ever since the Ministry of Interior adopted the eImmigration platform as part of the Nigerian eGovernment initiative, we are proud to have worked with our local Nigerian Service Provider to develop the capacity, effectiveness and efficiency of the MDA as well as to successfully police the eImmigration offering (ePassport, eVisa) assigned to us and have recorded the modest achievements listed below; namely:
- Zero online money theft by hackers.
- Zero online identity theft by hackers.
- Approximately 4,000% increase in revenue accruing to government.
- Complete stoppage of perennial offences committed by Nigerians who possess multiple passports.
- Zero online privacy invasion by hackers.
- Continuous systems availability, debottlenecking and improvement.
To recap, please note that:
- National eGovernment Strategies Ltd was conceptualized and validly registered as a Public Private Partnership long before the establishment of ICRC. NeGSt is therefore a corporate citizen of Nigeria who can sue and can be sued.
- National eGovernment Strategies Ltd is a wholly owned Nigerian outfit whose Promoters’ bold and innovative ideas has given Nigeria an ‘’eye’’ and an ‘’ear’’ in the orbit, thus helping to supply the lifeblood needed for the ICT industry. As pioneers, we have contributed to the design, architecture, materials selection, setup, pre-commissioning, commissioning activities of the platforms presently in operation because we have ideas of what will work and what will not work in our environment. In this regard, we have much more than what anyone will find in the books.
- Since inception, the company continues to support government efforts geared towards enhancing efficiency, transparency, accountability, plugging of systemic loopholes and in particular, helping to enforce compliance with Federal Government’s zero tolerance for corruption.
- With the sad exception of late Prof G. O. Ajayi and Prof. Vincent Olunloyo, all the people mentioned in this writeup as well as Mallam Nuhu Ribadu then Chairman of EFCC, who also played a significant role in the successful implementation of Nigeria’s eGovernment idea are alive and well and may be reached to shed more light.
- All documents referenced in this letter are available for your sighting at our HQ offices, Abuja.
13. The application for a change of name from National eGovernment Strategies Ltd to NeGSt-TAS Technologies Ltd was approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission on the 1st of July 2021 and a certificate was issued to that effect.
Felix Babatunde Obada, PhD.
Executive Vice Chairman, NeGSt-TAS Technologies Ltd.