For the adoption of digital technologies in Nigeria, issues of governance and transparency will be central to the attainment of key development goals in Nigeria.
This was part of the stakeholders’ presentation at the 2022 Nigeria E-Government Summit, where they also highlighted the need to embrace digital technology in the 2023 general elections to improve governance that is based on transparency and accountability.
At the annual summit held in Lagos, organized by DigiServe Network Services, in partnership with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and VDT Communications, with the theme: “Promoting e-Government in the election year to improve Governance, one of the keynote speakers and former All Progressives Congress (APC) Legal Adviser Babatunde Ogala (SAN) who identified the major challenges of past governments in Nigeria as the lack of adoption and implementation of technology by past leaders, said Nigeria should elect tech-savvy leaders in the next election year in 2023 who will embrace digital technology to improve governance.
“For there to be any meaningful development in Nigeria and for citizens to enjoy the dividend of democracy, leaders must be tech savvy. Embracing digital technologies will not only speed up electoral processes but also create efficiency, transparency and accountability in governance. This will also improve the security of our electoral processes,” Agala said.
He added that the introduction of card readers and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will further improve electoral processes in Nigeria.
The Lagos State governorship aspirant of the Consent Party, Hakeem Dickson, who also delivered a keynote at the summit, said if elected the next governor of Lagos State, of the Consent Party, he would use technology to transform the state within six months.
“Tech-savvy leaders will use technology to generate revenue for government without taxing citizens, and will also use technology to drive development, improve governance and develop human capacity building” , Dixon said.
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Chairman of the United Tax Council, Muhammad Nami, in his address said that he has always been passionate about governance, which is reflected in several processes in FIRS, towards automation of tax administration and collection of data from various government agencies, processing electronic payments and issuing electronic receipts, among others.
Nami, who was introduced to the meeting by the Director, Intelligence, Strategic Data Mining and Analytics at FIRS, Kola Okunola, said FIRS has focused on creating a data-driven culture in the public sector with improved transparency, accountability and social inclusion.
According to Nami, adoption of the right technology will improve tax revenue with better connectivity and integration of government agencies.
In his welcome speech, the Executive Chairman of DigiServe Network Services, Lanre Ajayi, said: “An election year which is a time when much attention is paid to governance issues is the perfect time to promote e-Government among the ruling class and the general public, which is the adoption of technology in government processes and service delivery that makes government service delivery efficient and cost-effective.”
Highlights of the meeting were the various panel sessions that discussed international best practices in e-governance, energy as a critical resource for e-government implementation and people’s expectations in a technological society, among others.