The appropriate deployment of information technology (IT) in the Judicial system according to Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), can help improve efficiency of court processes as well as curb any form of corruption whether actual or perceived. A fact which in his opinion has made it highly imperative to train and retrain Judiciary officers on the full understanding of IT skills for them to derive and enjoy the maximum value from digital technology.
The DG made this submission today when he received the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Hon Justice Salisu Garba and his team who were at the corporate headquarters of the Agency in Abuja to discuss possible areas of collaboration.
Inuwa who described the visit as very important and apt stated that the application of Artificial Intelligence is now making evaluations and decisions for humans based on available data, which has made it important for the judiciary system to adopt the use of IT in their work processes.
“We live in a world where technology can be used to profile and make recommendations. It is therefore very important to incorporate the use of IT into our judiciary system for enhanced work performance”, Inuwa noted.
He further added that the appropriate deployment of IT in the Judicial system will enable courts deal better with the increased size of their case loads, help in speedily clearing backlogs of cases and also help accomplish the research and planning tasks necessary for the proper administration of justice.
Inuwa averred that in enjoying the benefits of digital technology in the country, the judges need to have an indepth understanding of digital literacy skills, a responsibility which he stated falls on the Nigerian Justice Institute.
He further disclosed that in line with the actualization of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the full introduction and implementation of Digital Transformation by the Agency for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been in top gear.
“We have set up Digital Transformation Technical Working Groups in several MDAs while a few more will be inaugurated soon. Your Institute can be taken on board in this laudable initiative and inaugurated as well if you are ready”, the DG assured.
Inuwa while laying emphasis on the importance of protecting data, implored the visitors to
include the Nigerian Data Protection Regulations in their curriculum and promised a robust capacity building support in that regard.
“Most of the sources we get our information from now is online and these big techs use artificial intelligence to know our preferences by gathering data. It is therefore important to ensure protection of our data by all means necessary”, he opined.
The DG congratulated the Institute’s newly appointed Administrator and hoped that his wealth
of experience would add value to the Nigerian Judiciary Institute and the Nation’s Judiciary system as a whole.
Hon Justice Salisu Garba while speaking earlier appreciated the DG and his team for the warm reception given and described it as the beginning of partnership between the two organizations.
He disclosed that the objective of the Institute is to conduct trainings for all judicial officers and supporting staff.
He further stated that the Institute’s Judiciary Information Technology Policy Committee which is saddled with the responsibility of formulating policies have been faced with challenges but however believes that Information Technology will bridge the gap.
“The essence of this meeting is to collaborate with NITDA in developing our IT skills in order to build our workforce’s digital skills as well as develop virtual court proceedings and conferences in order to reduce our backlogs”, Hon Justice Garba concluded.