- Lists 16 ‘key components’ of the project
- Tasks media on balanced and investigative reporting
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) has debunked the allegation that it spent the sum of seven hundred million naira to create a website for itself, just as the ministry listed the key components of the Integrated Automation and Interactive Solid Minerals Portal (IAISMP), stating that due process was followed during the various stages of the project which culminated in the unveiling on Thursday, of the portal.
The Permanent Secretary, MMSD, Mohammed Abbas who described the allegation as misleading stated that “what the ministry acquired with the said sum of money is an integrated IT infrastructure which comprises two Data Centres, an off-site recovery centre, civil and environmental works on the Centres, cost of running of the Centres till end of first quarter 2018, training of over 225 officials locally and internationally amongst other cost components of the entire infrastructure and programme.” The Permanent Secretary added that it is disingenuous of anyone to reinvent and reduce all of these into an expenditure on a website.
“We have no reason to commit public resources to projects that will not advance the cause of repositioning mines and steel sector and we believe that we did everything to intimate the general public about our activities in this respect,” he said and called on the media to embrace ethical journalism.
Describing the IAISMP) project as one which fulfilled one of the short-term pledges listed in the roadmap for development of the sector, he noted that the project is a critical pillar of the agenda to reform the mining and minerals sector, “particularly a key step toward our vision to lead the sector to shared mining prosperity where we make significant contributions to GDP in the country.”
He said in realising aspects of the IAISMP project as a turnkey solution, government has been careful to follow all laid down rules: “Because the cost of implementing the project is above ministerial limits, the ministry sought and obtained the concurrence of the Federal Executive Council after a detailed presentation in January 2017,” adding that in the course of the project, the ministry continued to interface with stakeholders which included a facility inspection tour for journalists.
Highlighting key components of the IAISMP project, the Permanent Secretary said: the IAISMP project has the following key components:
“Feasibility assessment, needs analyses and re-engineering of the IT processes within the ministry, departments and agencies as well as two data centres (a fully equipped on-premises centre within the ministry and another off-site centre for recovery and real-time backup in case of emergency), also covering civil and environmental works.”
“Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution and Electronic Document Management System (eDMS) solution—Microsoft Dynamics AX: Financials, Supply Chain, Business Intelligence, Human Capital, Procurement (license and maintenance).”
While adding that the project also consists of basic and advanced IT (ERP and eDMS) and GIS training programmes for projected two hundred staff of the ministry and its agencies, he disclosed that seventy five officials have already been trained in Abuja to the effect, stating that IAISMP wields GIS capacity building for twenty five management and lead technical staff.
He said others include procurement, supply and installation of a GIS laboratory with twenty computer systems, building of GIS Web Portal with Business Automation System, Content Management System (CMS), Decision Support System and Side Stream along the minerals corridor, reordering and re-organisation of available geological data in the sector into geospatial database.
The sum he said is also to cater for cost of online mining licensing and mineral title application with tracking system for openness, transparency and accountability in compliance with global EITI standards for the extractives sector as well as online payment of royalties and fees while blocking revenue leakages by integrating/interfacing with Remita, GIFMIS and relevant revenue generating MDAs of the government.
The permanent secretary who further listed the components of the project said it includes Enterprise ArcGIS Solution license and maintenance for GIS Mining and Assets Management as well as funding of on-site project management and execution staff, including operationalisation of the project management office for upward of ten months. According to him, “Project staffs are scheduled to remain on-site till end of first quarter of 2018.”
“Procurement, supply and installation of various project equipment, complete with civil works as well as collaborative tools and help desk, and strategic communications are also components of the project,” he said.
Discussing the strategic importance of the project to the repositioning of the sector and development of the Nigerian economy, the Permanent Secretary said: “IT infrastructure, in all its ramifications, is an enabler of the serious work at repositioning the sector. For us, this is never an end in itself but a robust attempt to ease how the regulatory-cum-administrative systems interface with mining operators and stakeholders everywhere.
“It is noteworthy that in October 2017, the Mining Journal’s World Risk Report, which rated different mining jurisdictions on a range of indicators including legal, governance social, fiscal and infrastructure indicated that Nigeria is showing notable improvements in positions.
“In the two years that we have methodically and deliberately introduced reforms implemented a roadmap, our sector now has better perception, lowered investments risks and improved opportunity index.
“The import of this assessment, in light of the World Bank’s Report on the improved status of our country towards ease of doing business, cannot be far-fetched. Ours is a modest effort to consolidate the overall efforts of the Federal Government at increasing opportunities in other sectors of the economy.
“We have done repeated due diligence to ensure that the implementation of the project does not only meet expected design but also fits into globally recognised systems and further help us to place our jurisdiction on the mining map. A phased approach has been adopted, with incremental deliverables which should be fully completed by end of first quarter of 2018.
While saying that the leadership of the ministry will continue to be open to checks, and to present ourselves to public scrutiny.
“We want to assure Nigerians that we do not take lightly the confidence reposed in us or in our government nor would we do anything to undermine our reputation under whatever guise.”