By Chinenye Anuforo
experts gathered at the 2022 e-Government summit held last week in Lagos, brainstormed on how the e-Government adoption will impact Nigeria’s development.
Organized by DigiServe Network Services, in partnership with Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), FIRS, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the 2022 edition of Nigeria e-Government Summit, has the theme “Promoting e-Government in Election Year for Improved Governance.”
The experts who spoke at the summit agreed that, Science and technology are required for sustainable growth, social development, and industrialization of nations.
According to Kola Okunola, Director Intelligence, Strategic Data Mining and Analysis Department, Federal Inland Revenue Service, developed nations in the West having understood the importance of technology set aside about 10 percent of their countries’ GDP for the development of science and technology.
Asian countries such as South Korea followed suit and set aside over 10 percent of their GDP for science and technology development.
He argued that adoption of e-government (technology) would bring about automation of government budget and financial systems to increase efficiency, accuracy and transparency in public finances and also automation of tax administration systems to increase revenue and make taxation pivot of national development among others things.
However, Okunola stated that it is imperative to put the right technology policies and regulatory framework in place adding that entrepreneurs and innovators will naturally spring up when a conductive environment and value systems are created.
So speaking at the event, Kenneth Okereafor, Deputy General Manager, Department of ICT, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) said that in this digital era, any country that does not embrace technology is unlikely to make significant progress or sustain economic development.
He recommended that digital literacy must be promoted to develop citizens’ capacity in understanding and using technology adding that digital revolution requires multi stakeholder participation, therefore the government is encouraged to provide enabling environment to enhance private sector involvement.
In his own submission, Hakeem Onikoyi-Dickson, Lagos State Gubernatorial Candidate, Accord Party, noted that a tech-driven society ensures all-round development in politics, governance, and general administration.
“It facilitates financial transparency and prudence. It promotes sustainability and liveability.”
He added that as individuals and a people, what we should expect from a technology-driven society is positivity and advancement. “While, technology may have its negative consequences, they only arise when we use it for the wrong cause or when it gets into the hands of the wrong person,” Onikoyi-Dickson said.
Earlier speaking about the summit, the Executive Chairman, DigiServe Network Services, Engr Lanre Ajayi, said: “The election year, which is the time when a lot of attention is paid to governance issues, is a perfect time to promote eGovernment to the ruling class and the general public.
He said, “eGovernence which is the adoption of technology in government processes and service delivery, makes government service delivery efficient and cost effective.
ºIt introduces transparency in governance and builds trust between the government and the governed. This year edition, which is the fourth in the series, will not only serve to promote eGovernment but focuses on how governments can deploy and deepen technologies in service delivery.”