Expert Urges FG to Invest in Technology

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Ugo Aliogo

The Senior Partner and Head, Technology Advisory and Market, KPMG Nigeria, Joseph Tegbe, has charged federal government to actively invest in growing the country’s technology infrastructure.
Tegbe who disclosed this recently in Ibadan, noted that the ubiquitous nature of internet had made it important for government to invest in technology especially e-governance assets such as digital channels, application, and online platforms that link citizens to the public sector to promote efficiency.

He also stated that infrastructural developments are key drivers to economic growth, adding that the World Economic Forum had estimated that every dollar spent on capital projects generates an economic return of five to 25 per cent.
He said: “Long before now, the focus of infrastructural development has always been on roads, power grids, and other physical infrastructure.”

He stated that global research had shown that capturing the full potential of government digitisation could free up to $1 trillion annually in economic value worldwide, through improved cost and operational performance.

Tegbe, further stated that both developing countries and world powers had been paying a lot of attention to improving their e-governance strategy, adding that the world is a global village, “we are not completely insulated from the factors shaping the globe.”

He urged the government to ensure that it delivers a more responsive and efficient governance, stating that according to the UK government, its initial e-governance strategy saved £42 million in government spending within a year of its launch.

According to him: “E-governance is an opportunity to create more jobs and enhance the skills of the public service. The Nigerian political cycle is just four years; the crux of the running of the government is done by the members of the civil service who can be trained to become world class handlers and users of e-governance infrastructure.

“When we adequately invest in existing workforce, we realise efficiency and empower such workforce to execute more strategic and complex tasks rather than their current routine tasks.
“The Nigerian problem is majorly in three major parts: structural, cyclical and shocks. To solve structural problem, we must fill the gap and also proactively prepare for the future.
“One of the predicated technologies of the future is internet of things and the proliferation of this is only a few years away. If we stay stuck on solving only the problems created by our past, we will lose the opportunities of the future.”

Continuing, he said: “Therefore government must continuously focus on policies and programs for the future.
“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been able to enforce some e-governance strategies. For instance, the Treasury Single Account (TSA), is simply the digitisation of government revenue collection and it has helped the government to save billions of naira in different ways.
“This singular action has contributed to making many agencies like Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) and others not only self-sustaining but also a contributor to government revenue.

“This is a total turnaround of a key government institution in the education sector. We can imagine the impact other e-governance polices will have on different government agencies.
“Today, because of the TSA, government can receive payment from anywhere in the world anytime of the day bringing convenience and ease to government revenue collection.”