Electronic Government, just as the name may suggest, this is the governance of people with the involvement of electrical means for better delivery of services.
The U.S. e-government Act, 2002 delineates e-government as
“The use by the Government of web-based Internet
applications and other information technologies, combined
with processes that implement these technologies, to enhance
the access to and delivery of Government information and
services to the public, other agencies, and other Government
entities or bring about improvements in Government
operations that may include effectiveness, efficiency, service
quality, or transformation.
E- Governance comes with a lot of advantages if successfully implemented in Nigeria, picture a Nigeria where when the Senate or house or reps wants to pass a bill there will be no use of voice in saying I or Nah which is outdated but the use of electrical devices to calculate the number of people in favor or against a bill, just as e- governance comes with a lot of advantages it also has many problems with implementation in Nigeria.
10 problems of e- governance and possible solution in Nigeria:
1. Lack of citizens access to digital services, electricity, good telecommunication networks; For e- governance to be successful there need to be as well steady power supply and it is a known fact that in Nigeria there is no power supply 24/7 in the country e- governance cannot be utilized fully when there are no electricity to power electrical devices, also In Nigeria citizens are denied good telecommunication networks, in more than half part of Nigeria there is no good communication services as such e- governance cannot survive because there is no way the government could successfully pass out information to every inch of the country when more than half of its citizens cannot communicate properly digitally.
Possible solution: first the government needs to make available steady power supply as this is a basic necessity to make e- governance possible also if the installment of good communication network all over our country is done then there would be access to digital services.
2. Lack of financial planning and strategies; Never has the annual budget of Nigeria outrightly carry a portion for the development of digital services, there is also no strategy such as the government planning on bring expertise from other countries that has implemented e – governance successfully to come and show us the way its done.
Possible solutions: there are times the annual budget carries trivial items if only a quarter is used in the actualization of e- governance Nigeria would be a leading country in the use of ICT, there needs to be a budget for e- governance in the budget.
3. Theft and vandalism of equipment; In times of unrest in Nigeria, when things don’t go the way of the public, Nigerians themselves vandalize the few telecommunication networks around in the process of a protest or getting the attention of the government to their struggles this is a very big problem because there are not much network cables yet the few around gets destroyed in protest or riot and it ends up taking a lot of time of the part of the government to provide a replacement, sometimes cables and devices to enhance telecommunication gets stolen by Nigerians and resold at high prices this is a problem.
Possible solutions: this is a problem on the part of citizens themselves, the citizens needs to be reminded that this properties that gets destroyed during unrest belongs to them and as such should be valued and not be a means to get government attention.
4. Low level of ICT literacy and operators; this is a problem common with developing countries such as Nigeria, digitalization and ICT advancement is still a growing sector in Nigeria and Africa at large, the number of people who can run and oversee digital operations are few in Nigeria, the number of people as well who can understand digital information with ease is also discouraging
Possible solution: fresh graduates with potentials should be sorted and trained abroad in countries already using e- governance and return specifically for the advancement of ICT in their country Nigeria.
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5. Resistance or negative attitude to change; This is a problem to e- governance as a lot of people still prefer the old fashion way of carrying paper and files from desk to desk because of the low level of computer literacy, trained professionals.
Possible solutions: with proper sensitization this problem can be solved, humans are generally reluctant to some ideas that are not fully understood.
6. Zero Privacy and security; physical security may sometimes be tight in some areas but logical and application security is not as good as the physical security this gives hackers a way to dupe people or rob the government.
Possible solution: Good digital security application can be purchased to remedy this problem.
7. Corrupt Government officials; With the implementation of e – governance there would be minimal contact between the government workers and the citizens because information would be digitalized, meaning there would be no use for certain workers and there would be no means for top officials to extort the people who needs government services this is a problem because top officials who know e- governance would be an end to there illegal activities would never want to see the implementation of e- governance come through and therefore do everything they can to stop it.
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Possible solutions: heavy punishment should be given to officials caught in this act so as to serve as an example to other, with this corrupt officials would correct their ways overtime.
8. Poor data recording in Nigeria; There is a very little data available to use, data of its citizens, of government activities are lacking and as such there is no information to work with
Possible solutions: there should be proper recording of data and a means to get citizens information.
9. Little amount of digitalized data or data management; The few data available are in most cases not digitalized and this is a drag to the implementation of e- governance
Possible solution: conversion of hard copy of data to soft copy to enable e- governance usage.
10. Lack of awareness amongst citizens; With a country like Nigeria with low literacy level, it’s not easy for some older generation of people in the country to understand the meaning and benefit of e- governance and amongst the younger generation a large portion don’t know about e- governance.
Possible solution: The government could organize a sensitization program for its citizens about e- governance or make available a one on one explanation scheme for the elderly.
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