The federal government has been advised to adopt e-governance strategies in tackling corruption, which has been identified as the bane of good governance and Nigeria’s development.
The acting Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, who gave the advice during the 12th edition of the Nigerian Telecom Awards in Lagos recently, said one major thing that has brought the reputation of Nigeria low before international communities, is corruption. He acknowledged the efforts of the federal government in fighting corruption, but advised the presidency to adopt e-governance strategies, which he said would help reduce financial corruption in the government circle and the private sector to a greater extent.
Olatunji who listed some e-governance strategies to include investment in technology, awareness creation and change of mindset, advised the federal government to invest heavily in technology, especially in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure. “We need strong investment in ICT infrastructure to curb corruption in the country. “Government need to encourage and support the development of software solutions that are capable of blocking financial leakages in the government circle. Apart from the technology, government must also invest in the people and processes of governance in the country,” Olatunji said.
He added that government must access the quality of people in governance and the technology skills they possess, which he said, remained key to the adoption and sustainability of e-government strategies in the country.
He spoke on the need for capacity building among government officials and to redirect their thinking towards effective governance.
Olatunji who is a strong advocate of technology development, and has been at the forefront of supporting the development of technology startups in the country, said there was need for government to develop ICT infrastructure in the country that would speed up development at the federal, state and local government areas. He equally challenged technology solution developers to come up with solutions that will address key areas of e-governance.
Speaking about change of mindset as one of the e-government strategies that will tame corruption in the country, Olatunji called on Nigerians, especially those in government, to have a change of heart and to develop a culture that would make them shun corrupt practices. There is need for Nigerians to embrace the change mantra of the Buhari’s led government, which he said would go a long way in addressing the ills of the society.
He also called for awareness creation and sensitisation of the Nigerian populace, which he said, would go a long way in addressing the ills of corruption, especially financial corruption.