Innovation

E-Government in Nigeria: Overview, Scope, Challenge and Potential

Nigeria is one of the consumers of the technologies especially in the areas of electronics, I mean, digital electronics and computers.

This however, is a proof that Nigeria, as a nation has joined the train of global information and communication technology, just like other nations of the world particularly the developing nations.

This has remained a welcome development in Nigeria thus, the country has overtime been able to make some innovations, which were necessary and relevant to Nigeria’s need. That is why, Nigeria can today boost of e-government services.

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E-Government in Nigeria: Overview, Scope, Challenge and Potential
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A particular feature of e-government in Nigeria has been the automation, or you can say, the computerization of the already existed paper-based procedures, which has helped to enhance access to the technology, and the delivery of government programmes to the Nigerian citizenry.

Quite interestingly, the primary aim of this development is to help in the strengthening of government’s drive to achieve result in governance, such that would be effectual, as well as increase accountability and transparency in government.

It has also encourage better management of public funds with a view to trigger growth and development in the Nigerian state.

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In fact, one of the major advantage of this development is that, it has helped in the integration of all the government ministries, government departments as well as government agencies. And this is achieved in a way that has helped in the promotion of on-line interactions.

Frankly speaking, information and communication technology has found its expression in digital technology today, including all its variants, such as the computer, and the internet, and the mobile telephony, and the different electronic application, involving e-banking, and e-governance, and e-commerce, plus digital media.

What is E-Government?

The definition of E-government is glaring. When information and communication technology ICT is used with a view to make sure that access to government programmes, as well as quality delivery of government services for the  benefit of all is enhanced, it is called, e-government.

Scope

The scope of e-government is widely defined particularly, as it has to do with the public sector. There are different discovery as to what is the scope of e-government.

Like I stated earlier, the aims of e-government involved the improvement of government processes, which is considered as e-administration, as well as, the connection of citizens, which is also referred to as e-citizens/e-services and the building of external interactions, called, e-society.

Asides these aims, there are many factors to be taken into consideration, when it comes to e-government implementation, and this has given the picture of the scope of e-government in Nigeria.

To implement e-government, there would be need for the making and the implementing decisions, there would be need for proper leadership, there would be need to put in place organizational arrangements, there would be need to ensuring that there are resources and funding. Establishing accountability and measuring success will be some of those decisions to make.

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Telecommunication network, and internal agency systems, an cross-government systems, as well as service delivery network access points, including internet access plus skilled staff, plus better delivery of government services to citizens, and improved interactions with business/industry are yet some of those factors to be considered.

Others include, empowerment of citizens through having access to information as well as, having more efficient government management, these and many more are some of the factors that are necessary to achieve success of e-governance implementation.

It is also good to understand that, e-government   is not limited to the computerization of a government system, it went as far as to serve as a proof as to what this technology can achieved particularly, such an high levels of improvement in different departments of government.

Hence, has help transformed the practice of politics and the relations it has created between governments and its citizens.

Challenges

So many things have been said in respect to how e-government would benefits Nigerians. According to scholars, they have predicted that, once e-government is implemented, the resultant effect would be of the accountability, and of the awareness and of the transparency, when it comes to the business of government.

The belief was that, e-government implementation would bring about effective, efficient and speedy, as well as, transparent manner in the dissemination of information to the general public, including other government agencies with a view to enhance performance within the government circle.

Quite unfortunate however, this predictions have been the reverse here in Nigeria. On the contrary, it will be next to impossible if Nigerians could believe that challenge coud be ruled out completely, when it comes to policy of government.

Nevertheless, my belief is that, so much have to be done to bring about the desired benefits of e-government to Nigerian public service.

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Some have argued that, the e-government has met stiff opposition, given the bureaucratic nature of the public service. Public service is considered a quarter for bureaucracy, where public servants thinked that the implementation of e-government is tantamount to government’s deliberate move to send a good number of public servants home.

Thus, members of the public service may have decided to frustrate the effort of the government to effectively apply the e-government policy in Nigeria.

The argument is that, public servants will not be happy with the situation or system that will undermine members of the opportunity of contacting their colleagues face to face, as well as those, who provided services to the government.

Potential

Something is to be done to ensure that, there is an effective implementation of the e-government in Nigeria. Yes, this is obvious, when you look at the challenges mentioned in this article, there is need for the government departments, government ministries, as well as government agencies therefore to ensure that, committees that will implement, apply and monitor a successful e-government policy in Nigeria is set up.

Some of these committees are to help in working out modalities that will guarantee effective implementation of the e-government.

Performance evaluation committee is expected to work with a view to evaluate e-government successes and e-government failures in its objective, and well as, provides feedback mechanism for the purpose of reporting implementation effectiveness.

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Conclusion

As i mentioned earlier in this article, one of the major advantage of this development is that, it has helped in the integration of all the government ministries, government departments as well as government agencies. And this is achieved in a way that has helped in the promotion of on-line interactions.

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Joseph Athanasius

Joseph Athanasius is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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