Digital technology and social media have transformed the way people live, communicate and do business with each other. Thanks to the power of these two phenomena, people gain widespread access to information and global connections, regardless of their geographic location.
Thanks to the ubiquitous power of the Internet, the proper application of digital or electronic government has become vital to meeting the aspirations and aspirations of modern citizens.
Citizens use technology to hold governments to account and exercise their civic rights. They expect the government to provide the same service standards that are offered by the private sector.
As a result, governments around the world are undergoing a digital transformation and are using the digital path to deliver services to citizens in a more efficient, transparent and cost-effective way. Governments around the world recognize and leverage e-government to optimize their services to citizens.
The World Bank defines e-government as the use of information technology by government agencies, which are responsible for delivering information to those within its purview, businesses, and all other government stakeholders.
As such, e-government is the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) to government functions and procedures, with the aim of increasing efficiency, transparency and citizen participation. .
The goals of e-government include better delivery of public services to citizens, improved collaborations between business and industry, empowering citizens through access to information and ultimately account, more effective governance.
E-government is the practical demonstration of how government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) use ICTs as a supporting tool in the development of good governance by anchoring higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness. efficiency in government operations, improvement of processes and procedures, and improvement of the quality of public services.
In addition to deploying e-government to achieve cost-efficiency and citizen inclusion, governments are also innovating in solutions to provide optimal service delivery, establish advanced procurement systems, foster greater transparency and fight against corruption and waste.
Despite the fact that technology has the potential to improve government responsiveness, productivity, and citizen confidence, governments in many developing countries are reluctant to deploy technology for public sector reform.
While effective governments remain the cornerstone of poverty reduction and inclusive growth, most African governments rely on weak and opaque public institutions to advance their personal agendas, regardless of well-being. of their citizens.
Nigeria is currently undergoing the transition from the traditional economy to the digital economy, with the aim of aligning public sector operations and processes with the Digital Nigeria project and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
The implementation of digital transformation in the public sector is led by the Civil Service Reform Office (BPSR), with technical support from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Indeed, technology is imperative for sustainable public service reforms and the appropriate repositioning of the public sector for quality service delivery through the digital transformation of public services, in line with international good governance practices.
The BPSR was established to coordinate and ensure the full implementation of government agency reform initiatives to improve service delivery and streamline the civil service into a highly professional, functional, intelligent and results-oriented institution.
He is at the forefront of using technology to achieve his goals of public service turnaround for meaningful engagement and communication between government and citizens.
This was highlighted by Managing Director Mallam Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi when he paid a courtesy visit to the head office of Image Merchants Promotion Limited, publisher of Economic Confidential and PRNigeria, among other publications from his team.
Mallam Arabi acknowledged that the public sector has no excuse not to embrace technology and digital transformation to ensure the digitization of governance and the elimination of paper-based operations.
He expressed the willingness of the BPSR to vigorously pursue the digitization of all government agencies and institutions through upgrading ICT facilities and capacity building programs to help public officials use digital tools for productivity and safe record keeping.
He said: “The whole world has been disrupted by technology. We (BPSR) have digitized all our processes. We are in favor of updating the government’s e-government blueprint, which examines government departments and agencies.
“A lot of work is underway underground to modernize ICT facilities. The central tech agencies, NITDA and Galaxy Backbone, are doing a lot of work to deliver the software and hardware we need to transform.
In October 2020, the Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, assured the BPSR that his agency would deploy its IT skills in the reform of the whole civil service, declaring that “information technologies are the key to significant reforms in the civil service “.
In the long term, the effort to achieve a solid civil service reform catalyzed by the power of digital transformation through e-government that empowers citizens by offering them improved access, fast services, time savings and money, facilitates transparent processes and makes government more accountable promises a win-win situation for citizens and government.
As a citizen, you only need a smartphone with a strong internet connection to enjoy the benefits of e-government, as you will no longer be standing in long lines or being physically present to access government services, except when it becomes extremely necessary.
Inyene Ibanga is Editor-in-Chief of TechDigest and writes from Wuye District, Abuja.