E-government key to promoting accountability, transparency — Pantami

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami,  says e-government is key to promotion of trans parency and accou ntability in governance.

Pantami said this at the 2023 Information Technology Professionals Assembly organised by the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that e-government, if put in place would help in showcasing various policies and initiatives of government geared towards good governance.

“E-government, also known as electronic government, refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to deliver government services, exchange information, and engage with citizens, businesses, and other government entities.

“It involves the digital transformation of traditional government processes, enabling the electronic delivery of public services, the digitalisation of government processes, and the use of online platforms to facilitate interactions between government and citizens.

“E-government is a critical enabler for good governance, effective public administration, and sustainable development in the digital era,” he said.

He quoted the World Bank as saying that governments that were more open and transparent would be better positioned to act effectively and efficiently, foster private sector growth, and respond to the actual needs of all citizens.

The Minister also said that E-government supports transparency and good governance in open government data initiatives where citizens, businesses and researchers could access and utilise government data.

He added that countries that embrace open government data initiatives always experience increased transparency and improved governance.

Pantami also said that availability of E-Government could improve service delivery by streamlining administrative processes and improving the efficiency of public service delivery.

“By digitalising and automating procedures, governments can reduce bureaucracy, paperwork, and processing time.

“This leads to faster and more convenient access to government services for citizens and businesses, which will enhance public satisfaction and trust in government institutions.

“Improved digital payments and financial transparency in another role E-Government played. This is because electronic financial management systems help track revenue collection and expenditure, ensuring accountability and minimising financial irregularities,” he said.

He listed other benefits as reduction in corruption and fraud, enhanced citizen engagement, among others.

He further said that the country had made commendable strides in implementing E-Government like many other nations.

He said the country had developed the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) which was unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari on Nov. 28, 2019, providing a holistic and sustainable approach toward the development of the nation’s digital economy.

The Minister said that leveraging technology, digitalising services, and prioritising cybersecurity, would make the country on the path to becoming a model for e-government in the region.

Meanwhile, the President/Chairman, Council of Computer Professionals Registration, Mr Kome Jagun said information technology is not only one of the major drivers of operations in the private and public sector of the economy but also contributing meaningfully to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Jagun said transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their government is doing.

“Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. The achievement of good governance in this digital age requires a functional e-governance.

“This is because adequate use of ICT serves as a catalyst to an effective and efficient service delivery, quick response, accountability and transparency,” he said.

He, therefore, said that greater use of information and communications technology and e-government would increase governmental transparency, accountability and good governance.

He said that this, in turn, may invite citizen participation, foster e-governance, and help nurture our democracy, adding that the realisation or actualisation of sustainable development cannot be possible without good governance.

In his opening address, the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, urged the Council to ensure adequate performance in the profession, saying that it is being supervised by the Federal Ministry of Education.

Adamu, who was represented by his Technical Adviser, Mohammed Mahmoud said, “We are naturally working with the CPN to bring this up because everything we do today is digital.

“This is from learning, teaching and working so the importance of this CPN should not escape Nigerians because they are helping with the regulation of professionals,” he said.

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