Don Canvasses Adoption of ICT, E-Governance for Government-Citizens Engagement
A professor of Public Administration in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Professor Daniel Gberevbie, has canvassed the adoption of diverse platforms of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for reaching out to the governed irrespective of their locations, so as to get them acquainted with governance and improve their living condition through enhanced service delivery.
Professor Gberevbie made the call at the Covenant University Conference on E-governance in Nigeria (CUCEN 2018), where he delivered a paper titled, ‘Role of Information Communication Technology in Service Delivery at the Grassroots Level in Nigeria’.
He posited that ICT has a major role to play in facilitating transparency and speed in service delivery at the grassroots level in Nigeria, and to achieve this goal there is the need for the Federal Government of and government at the local level to educate the citizenry about the gains of ICT and invest in both human and equipment for the successful realisation of ICT application and deployment at the grassroots level.
Professor Gberevbie stated that with the growing demands of citizens and changing global rules and regulations, governments were under pressure to deliver quality services with speed and timeliness. He added that this had prompted government’s attempts at tackling the demand by re-engineering their processes, with ICT playing a central role in the proposed solution in different nations.
He noted that in developing nations like Nigeria, a successful and effective implementation of ICT adoption at grassroots level in the area of service delivery was likely to bring about some efficient outcomes for the governed, but only if adequate resources were provided and all barriers removed.
While highlighting some of the benefits of adopting ICT towards enhanced service delivery to the citizenry, Professor Gberevbie said that ICT adoption was more likely to enable governments and organisations to improve on service delivery, and thereby improve the living standard of the citizens. “Transparent use of public resources equals a higher level of trust in the government and its activities by the people, which ultimately leads to societal development through the availability of more funds for the provision of required social amenities in the society for better living condition,” he added.
In his second presentation at the conference, titled ‘E-Governance and Public Policy Implementation for Development in Nigeria’, Professor Gberevbie stated that since the primary goals of most governments the world over were targeted at improving the living standard of their citizens, it was then imperative to ensure that government policies were tailored and implemented in a manner geared at achieving set goals and objectives.
He called on governments at all levels to see the e-governance platform as a strategy of involving citizens in public policy implementation towards the achievement of the overall goal of government to improve the living standard of the people.
Professor Gberevbie said that to attain the required goals of development, there was the need to engage citizens in governmental activities, particularly in the area of implementation and appropriate feedback mechanism, to enable government officials to know the impact of such policy for possible adjustment or re-formulation to achieve the set developmental goals.
Gberevbie, who is the first Professor of Public Administration in Covenant, identified high cost of internet access by the people, meagre electricity power generation and distribution, pitiable internet service, poor interconnectivity between networks, bad and obsolete ICT infrastructure, little budgetary allocation by the government to the ICT sector, and low level of literacy in the country among others, as some of the challenges hindering the adoption of e-governance strategy for involving citizens in policy process in Nigeria.
On the implication of the identified challenges of e-governance platform on development, he said that stated goals of government were not likely to be achieved unless these challenges were urgently addressed at the federal, state, and local levels.