Stakeholders urge FG to engage technology service providers to boost e-governance



Emma Okonji

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and other stakeholders who spoke at the E-Government Summit of Nigeria 2021 in Lagos on Wednesday, stressed the need for engagement between the federal government and technology service providers, in order to improve e-government service delivery to citizens.

DigiServe executive chairman, summit organizers, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, in his opening remarks said technology service providers were not engaging the government enough and coming up with adequate technology solutions that would improve performance. e-government delivery. services to citizens.

According to him, “Those who suffer most from the lack of sufficient government engagement are the Nigerian citizens, as the citizens no longer receive quality services from the government. Citizens do not receive quality service from government because technologies are not deployed effectively in the delivery of government services. To bridge the gap, DigiServe decided to use its e-Government Summit platform to bring together government and technology service providers to share their experiences on the way forward.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Mr. Muhammad Nami, spoke about the benefits of adopting technology by the federal government to improve the provision of online administration services. .
Nami, who was represented by the head of the digital support group at FIRS, Ms. Chiaka Ben-Obi, said technology remains a key enabler and cornerstone of any country’s development, thus providing enormous opportunities for delivery. e-government services.

According to Nami, “the path to a successful eGovernment implementation is complex, sometimes requiring legislative support, effective design of administrative and technical procedures, and extensive consultation processes with key stakeholders. FIRS is ready to partner with ministries, departments and agencies; Tech companies and multinational organizations and other stakeholders, for e-government initiatives that will increase tax compliance, increase revenue generation and accelerate Nigeria’s economic growth.

He did, however, list some of the challenges to government adoption of the technology, including: implementing legislation to help MDAs achieve their goal; Several suppliers and systems; High cost of technology adoption and internal resistance to change, among others.

In another opening speech, NCC Executive Vice President Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC Adewolu Adeleke, said governments would work more efficiently through adoption of ICT, which would lead to the provision of rapid access to automated services in order to make public welfare services accessible to all citizens.

“The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has worked diligently with all stakeholders to deepen the penetration of broadband infrastructure and services, which support the growth of e-governance and other critical goals of the digital economy in all of Nigeria, ”Danbatta said.

NITDA Director General Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who was represented by a senior NITDA official Dr Vincent Olatunji, said NITDA was able to develop several technology-based policies and frameworks to seamlessly connect Nigerian citizens to improve e-government service delivery.

He said NITDA would continue to develop ideas that would not stifle the regulation of the ICT sector. According to him, NITDA would continue to support the reduction of the cost of deploying the technology in the country, especially as this affects the cost of rights of way (rights of way) in the provision of services.

Different panel sessions discussed the theme of the summit: “E-Government Adoption in Nigeria: Opportunities and Challenges”, with a view to prioritizing solutions and bridging the existing gap between government and technology service providers.



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