In order not to be left out in world trend and enhance government service delivery to the masses, information and communication technology (ICT) experts gathered at eGovernment Conference 2019 have urged the Nigerian government at all levels to adopt technology in its processes to enhance efficiency as well as boost revenue.
In his welcome address at the 2019 Nigeria eGovernment Conference in Lagos, the chairman of DigiServe Network Services Limited, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, stated that Nigeria was facing a lot of challenges that include poor economic growth, terrorism and corruption, among others.
Ajayi, who also is the converner of the eGovernment Conference, stated that the country could solve the above challenges with technology, adding that the objective of the conference was to explore how technology could be applied in all sectors of the economy.
Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, former executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), pointed out that Nigerian government was slow in embracing technology.
Ndukwe, chairman of the board of MTN, noted that Nigeria should embrace new technologies like other developing countries of the world.
He said,“We have been a bit slow in adopting ICT in Nigeria. Our government has been slow to embrace technology. Government agencies hardly take their website seriously.
“Technology is moving ahead to be able to sort out problems for the future and Nigeria cannot be left behind.”
Ndukwe cited the example of the nation’s land and seaports – an area in which he said that the adoption of new technologies could ensure faster and accurate scanning and clearing of goods. In addition, he disclosed that technology could resolve 80 to 90 per cent of problems in tax collection by the government. This, he argued, would earn more revenues for the government with which it can provide essential social services for Nigerians.
Speaking also the Chief Executive Officer, Internet Xchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Mr. Muhammad Rudman who explained eGovernment (short for electronic government) as the use of technological communications devices, such as computers and the Internet to provide public services to citizens and other persons in a country or region, said through e-governance, government services are made available to citizens in a convenient, efficient, and transparent manner.
Rudman explained that Nigeria has strived to make use of ICT to improve governance process at different level. He said, “Relative success has been recorded in the country’s quest to adopt and implement e-government process but most e-government services are operating in silos and lack visibility. He recommended that technical infrastructure are required to support e-government.
Rudman observed that cost of Internet access remained very high in the hinterland. He, therefore, called for unhindered Internet access.
However, the chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said that infrastructure was pivotal. He charged government on protection of telecommunications infrastructure to avoid vandalism, to ensure quality service thus enhancing e-government.