• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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The digital landscape and e-governance in Nigeria

The digital landscape and e-governance in Nigeria

In the last decade, we have witnessed a revolution in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Nigeria, with the nation’s digital landscape rapidly growing. It has seen an increase in internet users, mobile phone subscribers, and e-commerce transactions in recent years.

According to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the number of registered new SIMs grew from 316.64 million as of December 2022 to 323.62 million as of February 2023, indicating that mobile services are becoming increasingly popular.

Nigerian government at every level should implement an effective digital governance strategy to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve service delivery

The Nigerian e-commerce market also continues to flourish, with more and more people embracing online shopping.

A report by PWC Nigeria shows that the country’s e-commerce market is expected to reach US$13 billion in value by 2025.

Meanwhile, the growth of digital services has also created an opportunity for digital payments, which have become increasingly important in the Nigerian economy.

As more Nigerians adopt digital technologies, there is also an increasing demand for reliable internet access and better connectivity across the country. Several telecom companies have recently launched 4G and 5G networks with more advanced fibre cable infrastructure projects.

Overall, the digital landscape in Nigeria has seen significant growth over the years, and this trend is expected to continue as more Nigerians embrace new technologies and digital services. However, there’s more to be done regarding the Nigerian government adopting a culture of e-governance for the delivery of public services.

Developing a culture of e-governance in Nigeria

Public institutions in Nigeria, like other government organizations around the world, are facing increasing pressure to leverage technology and digital solutions for better service delivery. Creating a culture of e-governance is essential to ensure that the organization uses its resources in the best way possible to meet stakeholders’ expectations and drive positive outcomes.

‘’E-governance is about the use of ICT for steering the citizens and promoting public service. It includes a pragmatic application and usage of ICT for delivering efficient and cost-effective services and information and knowledge to the citizens being governed, thereby realizing the vast potential of the government to serve the citizens.’’

Electronic governance helps ensure transparency and accountability by allowing the government to easily access data and provide feedback. It also enables the identification of areas of improvement while better managing risks and public service delivery. Additionally, E-governance is far from government websites, e-mails, or financial transactions. It is about changing how citizens relate to government as much as how citizens relate to each other.

Nigerian government at every level should implement an effective digital governance strategy to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve service delivery. This should include developing clear objectives, creating data-driven policies and strategies, and leveraging digital tools to automate processes wherever possible.

It is essential to cultivate a culture of e-governance at local, state, and federal public institutions for the seamless delivery of public services. I am aware that this has already started with some institutions; unlike a few years ago, you can register online to get your international passport; even though it may take forever, you can register your business online even if you still have to visit the corporate affairs commission office, and so on. We can do better.

I propose that the nation fully establish and adopt digitalization as the standard for all public services, from land registrations, driver’s licensing, national health issuance, e-tickets for rail transport, import and export, etc. By creating a culture of e-governance in Nigeria’s public institutions, stakeholders can expect improved efficiency, transparency, and accountability. This will ‌improve outcomes for the government, domestic and foreign investors, and the citizens.

Benefits of e-governance to Nigeria

Digitalization in the Nigerian public sector has several benefits. From improved transparency and efficiency to cost savings, digitalization can help streamline processes and increase access to resources for citizens.

One key benefit of digitalization is increased transparency in government operations. The public can easily access information about the government’s activities through digitized records, documents, and data. This helps ensure accountability and encourages more honest government practices.

By leveraging technology to automate manual processes, public sector institutions can save time and resources that would have otherwise been spent on tedious tasks because digital solutions enable better collaboration between organizations and individuals, making sharing information and completing tasks easier.

It can also help reduce the cost of governance by helping institutions to save money on printing documents and training staff by digitizing processes and data. Similarly, digital tools can improve the accuracy of data collection, eliminating potential errors that could cost more in the long run. Digital solutions can also help optimize the use of resources by enabling better planning and forecasting.

Finally, adopting and advancing e-governance in Nigeria can help increase access to resources for citizens. By leveraging technology, the public sector can provide services more quickly and efficiently to people in remote areas or with limited mobility. This can help to expand access to education, healthcare, employment opportunities, and other valuable resources.

E-governance can transform Nigeria’s public sector by making operations more efficient, cost-effective, and accessible. Public institutions need to keep up with technological advances and consider how digital solutions can improve their operations and service delivery.