For the adoption of digital technology in Nigeria, issues of governance and transparency will be central to achieving key development goals in Nigeria.
This was part of the stakeholders’ submission to the Nigeria eGovernment Summit 2022, where they also highlighted the need to embrace digital technology in the 2023 general elections to improve governance 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), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and VDT Communications, on the theme: “Promoting the ‘E-Government in the Election Year for Better Governance’, one of the keynote speakers and former legal adviser to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babatunde Ogala (SAN), who identified the main challenges of previous governments in Nigeria as the lack of adoption and deployment of technology by former leaders, said Nigeria must elect tech-savvy leaders in the next election year in 2023 who will embrace digital technology to improve governance.
“For meaningful development to take place in Nigeria, and for citizens to reap the dividends of democracy, leaders must master technology. The adoption of digital technology will not only speed up electoral processes but also create efficiency, transparency and accountability in governance. It 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) would further improve Nigeria’s electoral processes.
The Governor of Lagos State candidate for the Accord Party, Hakeem Dickson, who also delivered a keynote address at the summit, said that if he is elected as the next Governor of Lagos State Lagos, under the Accord Party, he would use technology to transform the state in six months. .
“Leaders who are tech-savvy will use technology to generate funds for government without overburdening citizens and will also use technology to drive development, improve governance and build human capacity building,” Dickson said.
Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Joint Tax Board, Muhammad Nami, said in his remarks that he has always had a passion for governance, which has been reflected in several processes at FIRS, vis -to the automation of tax administration and the collection of data from various government agencies, the processing of electronic payments and the issuance of electronic receipts, among others.
Nami, who was represented at the summit by FIRS Director of Intelligence, Exploration and Strategic Data Analytics, Kola Okunola, said FIRS focused on creating a culture of data in the public sector, with improved transparency, accountability and social inclusion.
According to Nami, adopting the right technology will improve tax revenue through better connectivity and integration of government agencies.
In his welcome remarks, Executive Chairman of DigiServe Network Services, Lanre Ajayi, said, “Election year, which is when much attention is given to governance issues, is the perfect time to promote the administration online with the ruling class and the general public, i.e. the adoption of technology in government processes and service delivery, which makes the delivery of government services efficient and cost-effective.
The highlights of the summit were the various round tables which discussed international best practices in e-government, energy as an essential resource for the deployment of e-government and the expectations of people in a technology-driven company, among others.