ABUJA, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Cooperation between China and Nigeria has yielded a positive result further, following the graduation of a total of 935 Nigerian civil servants who had undergone a training program on information and communications technology (ICT) by Chinese technology giant Huawei.
The Chinese Consul General in Lagos Chao Xiaoliang (L) and Nigeria's Minister for Communications Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu unveil the Huawei Innovation and Experience (I&E) center in Lagos, Nigeria, Oct. 8, 2016. (Photo: Xinhua)
The training, tagged "ICT for Change", commenced in January and ended in June, was held in 19 batches. It aimed at training Nigerian civil servants on core ICT capacity and boost e-governance in the country.
The participants were drawn from various federal ministries, departments, and agencies, following a memorandum of understanding signed last October by the Nigerian government and Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited.
Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation, described the initiative as one which signifies a further collaboration between government and private sector organizations in Nigeria.
He said the training programme supports the area of automation of civil service processes while limiting bureaucratic procedures to ensure effective and efficient service delivery.
"This gesture is highly commendable and we look forward to more of such programmes that seek to compliment Federal Government's commitment to deliver good governance," Mustapha said.
The minister of communications Ali Isa Pantami said the training program became necessary for civil servants to improve their ICT skills in order to face the challenges ahead.
According to Patanmi, who is also an ICT expert, nothing can be achieved in governance if the capacity of civil servants is not being developed.
"That is why this training is key and we are making efforts to make sure that we lift millions of Nigerians from poverty. One of the easiest ways to do this is through ICT capacity building," he said.
Speaking to Xinhua at the graduation ceremony, some of the participants at the training program said they were proud to be among civil servants who will pioneer and make effective Nigeria's digitalization goal of phasing out the use of paper in the future and adopt the digital means of processing data, as Nigeria aspires to become a smart country.
With the ever-widening spread and the adoption of ICT across the globe, civil service everywhere is confronted with more and more ICT-related challenges in formulating and implementing policies, said Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria.
Zhou noted the efforts made by the Nigerian government in partnering with Huawei to enhance ICT capacity-building for civil servants, is one of the eight major initiatives to boost China-Africa cooperation announced at the Beijing Summit of the Forum On China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held last September.
China remains committed to enhancing exchanges and cooperation between competent authorities between the two countries, sharing good practice in each other's ICT development, the envoy added.