Federal Capital Territory’s good governance efforts is again on spotlight as Abuja has been announced among winners of 2017 IBM Smarter Cities Challenge. To this end the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has moved to leverage the technical support that comes with the grant.
The grant was the result of an entry application submitted by the FCT Administration in which it demonstrated strong, dynamic leadership with clear track record of innovation and accomplishment among others.
The FCT Minister, while conveying his delight to IBM, again reiterated his commitment to enhancing the operational capability of the FCT Administration. He directed for the establishment of a Smarter City programme management office for the immediate take-off of the project.
The grant comes as testament to the increasing donor confidence in the Administration’s passion to ensure good governance and accountability and a fruit of his commitment to FCTA’s drive towards a Smarter City status.
Under the initiative, IBM provides benefitting cities around the world with grants of its expertise and technology to address their top strategic challenges. Selected cities work with IBM experts to leverage its IT infrastructure, namely; cognitive computing, cloud platform, mobile and social analytics and data capabilities.
During the presentation session, the IBM Country General Manager, Mr. Dipo Faulkner, noted that Abuja has the potential to significantly boost its revenue collection by deploying innovative technology and processes.
He observed, “long turnaround times, bureaucracy and customer issues are the result of ineffective system and tools, while poor utilization of employee capabilities is due to the absence of any performance-based measures.”
The IBM team reasoned that lack of collaboration as well as inaccurate expectations within agencies and across the entire agency network is the bane of public agencies in development world.
The report stated that “IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge contributes the skills and expertise of IBM’s top talent to address the critical challenges facing cities around the world. It does this by putting teams on the ground for three weeks to work closely with city leaders and deliver recommendations on how to make the city smarter and more effective.”
It revealed that over the past five years, 132 cities have been selected to receive grants noting that the smarter cities challenge is IBM’s largest philanthropic initiative, with contributions valued at over $66 million to date.
According to him, “the initiative would tackle inefficiencies within the processes that impact the ability to collect revenue; lack of enabling systems and tools which has created complexity, redundancies and bureaucracy in processing transactions and resulted in long turnaround times, customer service issues and delays in revenue collection.”
The benefits of the project would include cultivation of management and employee accountability, development of a revenue accountability program, with clearly defined revenue collection performance measures and targets and enhancing of annual employee performance reviews with feedback mechanism that includes incentive-based rewards related to performance.
Chief Press Secretary
To FCT Minister