Stakeholders across private and public sectors in Nigeria have emphasised the need to accelerate process that will lead to broad e-government adoption in the country, targeting the many benefits derivable from e-government.
Speaking at The Nigeria eGovernment Summit 2020, themed ‘COVID-19: Impetus for Accelerated eGovernment Adoption’ held in Lagos on Tuesday, consensus of the experts tilted in favour of collaborations among stakeholders to attain the eGovernment status.
In his welcome address, Engr Lanre Ajayi, executive chairman of DigiServe Network Services (the convener to the summit), said many challenges bedevilling the country, ranging from corruption to kidnapping to banditry to economic headwinds, could be effectively resolved via adoption of eGovernment.
Engineer Ajayi tasked the government to take advantage of Information Technology by driving governance with technology, adding that online transactions and limited face-to-face contact between government and citizens will limit corruption.
Experts at the event bemoaned the low ranking of Nigeria on the global eGovernment scale despite that the country boast of the fastest growing telecommunication industry in the African continent which is expected to drive connectivity.
They equally identified the urgent need to invest more infrastructure as well as inter-agency awareness and trust to enable government agencies leverage on available facility to drive eGovernment adoption.
In his contribution while moderation a panel session on “The Roles of Government Agencies in Advancing the National eGovernment Plan”, Olusola Teniola, immediate past president of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) cited low digital literacy as an impediment to eGovernment.
He added that meaningful connectivity is required to actualize eGovernment dream in Nigeria, adding that for example, 120,000 kilometres of optic fibre for broadband has been identified by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for robust connectivity that will drive digital economy as well as eGovernment.
“As part of the lessons learnt from the incident of COVID-19, the eGovernment adoption that is desirable now should include adoption of cloud service in its entirety and creating platforms for our youths to display their creativity by bringing some solutions onboard and this will also mean employment creation,” Teniola said.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has assured that his administration will provide the needed leadership to fast-track the process that will lead to the full adoption of eGovernment.
Speaking at the event, the governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, stated that the government will continue to drive the process by sustaining investment in Information Technology infrastructure and partnership with all stakeholders including IT professionals in the private sector.
He said: “Given the global shift from the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has deployed innovation and technology strategies in rendering e-government services.
“The ongoing pandemic has broadened our knowledge of the significant role technology could play in the life of every human being as most people have adopted the online means of going about their daily activities”.
He added that to fast track the process, Lagos State Government is already working to deliver a 3,000 six-line metro optic fibre infrastructure to enhance connectivity for private use and that of all government’s institutions across the state.
E-Government is the employment of the Internet and the world-wide-web for delivering government information and services to the citizens. Adoption of tech for governance is now a global trend among countries to achieve efficiency, reduce paper process, corruption, tackle socio-economic challenges and facilitate transparency.