Kadri Obafemi Hamzat Interview’s Summary as Lagos State Commissioner for Science & Technology

Dr. Kadri O. Hamzat

We bring to your knowledge one of the greatest professionals Nigerians may not have witnessed what he could offer Nigeria. He played a prominent role in the IT sector of Lagos state under former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola as a commissioner. He was so passionate about his job and from all indications, his activities can be replicated in all parts of Nigeria as a country deserving of a technological path towards development.

The deputy governor elect of Lagos state, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat studied in England before moving to the United States where he worked as information technology professional at various financial institutions and then moved back to Nigeria to work with OANDO as the company’s chief information officer. He was saddled with the responsibility of the company’s IT. These were his assignments before joining the Lagos state government as a commissioner for science and technology where he worked with other states to improve on their IT.

Kontakte crew was able to have a chat with him where he told us about the things he needed to tackle even though he had always worked with profit making organizations. According to him, he discovered that the state wanted to automate a lot of activities being a state with the most enormous amount of data points.

One of his priorities was to bring in some enterprise solutions to the already structurally cabled buildings which needed expansion. But the first consideration was to develop the human capacity and also improve the IT awareness because Lagos state is huge. In essence, there was a need for science policy upon which he started building a foundation.

He moved on to automate many of the sectors which brought about the e-health. The justice ministry which is the biggest law firm in Nigeria with the highest number of lawyers, was also positively impacted. The idea saw to the end of personnel from other ministries approaching the ministry of science and technology to solve their IT problems.

The issue of letter management is also a thing to learn from what the governor elect did in Lagos state as a commissioner. A case was established where for instance, if 400 staff were involved in promotion, the permanent secretary in the civil service commission is expected to sign their letters where about nine (9) letters to various departments like the auditor general, accountant general’s ministry and so fort, were to receive such for signatures. That would amount to 400 multiply by 9. The former commissioner had to automate the process so that what could have taken hours to do, was done in seconds. This system also paved way for the writing of cheques within 2 hours in which previously, people would have to wait for about 10 days.

The state also created centers within the state for youths who were interested in learning computer without any payment. For a more sophisticated IT solution, the state also built learning centers where any young architect who does not have an office but brilliant, can get registered and do his drawings to make money for himself. The process can also nip any corrupt tendency in the bud, if external users try to toy with their customer’s job mandate. According to him, the state also embarked on geographical information system (GIS) which has made it possible for certain vehicles to have a navigator to their homes.

One other important note to mention, is the challenges retired people face when they are required to present some 25 years old document for the process of their pension. But before now, the truth is that, staff don’t get to see their files until they retire. This has made it difficult to resolve certain issues if a process was not well taken care of in the past. So, automating the whole process of promotion, retirement etc, now makes people see their files even though they can not alter it but then errors can be detected and complaints made.

On the physical planning management, we were also told that the state was automating the physical planning approval. This means that when people submit their building plans, the computer simple accepts and process it, if the conditions are met. It simply rejects it if otherwise. The information we got from the now deputy governor elect of Lagos state, was also shared with some states that came to them. Ondo state was mentioned to have come to see how the Oracle implementation has impacted positively on the issues of pensioners

The lesson to take away from here is that, if the deputy governor elect has introduced this kind of technology to Lagos state and some other states that showed interest for some years now, how come that Nigeria as a country has not moved in that direction? The problem of continuity is seriously needed to be viewed with all seriousness. Successive governments of developed countries try to improve on whatever the previous government has initiated. But both the state and the federal government of Nigeria completely ignore even laudable projects which consequently go out of use and importance

One aspect of technology through which a nation thrives well is by communication means. Former president Obasanjo was able to see to the realization of this sector. The resultant effect of that sector has also helped to promote the entertainment industry in Nigeria. The other aspect which is huge and which could resolve other areas of our lives, is the sense behind the expertise the deputy governor elect has offered in Lagos state. It can be adopted in other sectors of the economy.

Except someone tries to be mischievous, Lagos state can not be talking about ghost workers again. The technological interplay between the various ministries and departments in Lagos state, is just a replica of what we need to translate to the operation mode of the federal government of Nigeria and how we co exist as a people.

The question to ask would be, who is not interested in this in Nigeria? if we do not have anyone in government who understands technology such as this despite their experience and exposure in developed countries, Nigerians can now authoritatively mention to who ever cares that the deputy governor elect of Lagos state, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, carried it out and also spoke to kontakte Kommunications media crew to document it.

We just need the government to prioritize its issues for Nigeria’s economic and political balance. The technical know how and the vast natural resources are already available to kick start our recovery process. The whole world is waiting to take part in the process. This is what global cooperation is all about. Denying humanity its values is working against human existence. Nigeria is a blessed country and by extension, Nigerians deserve to live better!

To list further our request from the government of Nigeria, we demand for the upgrade of the Nigeria Police Force and the Judiciary to the standard of their counterparts in countries like Germany and the United Kingdom and then move to resolve the energy issue while giving technological advancement a deserving attention.

God bless Nigeria!

Affar O.G – Publisher

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