FG hires Oracle, Microsoft to tackle recession

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Communications Tower

In its bid to tackle recession, save cost and fight corruption, the Federal Government has hired the services of United States (U.S.) technology giants, Oracle and Microsoft.

An initiative led by Redwood, California-based Oracle has enabled the government to remove 50,000 so-called ghost workers, or fake entries, from the payroll, according to a presidency statement June 29.

Oracle had decided, in May, to open an office in Abuja, the capital. Other companies interested in taking on more work in Nigeria include IBM Corp. and Sweden’s Ericsson AB, according to Yusuf Kazaure, managing director of state-owned Galaxy Backbone, which provides technology services to the government.

Galaxy Backbone’s budget has increased by 30 per cent this year to N4 billion ($12.7 million), Kazaure said in a phone interview . State funding for the company will probably increase at a similar annual rate for the foreseeable future, he said. Nigeria is investing 50 per cent more on information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure this year, totaling about N41billion, according to budget data.

Africa’s most populous country is seeking to recover from its worst economic downturn in more than two decades and is using technology to improve government revenue collection and attract investment.

The continent’s biggest oil producer is ranked 136 out of 167 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index, a placing that may improve if the government is able to simplify processes such as the awarding of state permits, according to Hakeem Adeniji-Adele, director of public sector work at Microsoft Nigeria.

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