Technology

Huawei: How Nigeria can maximise e-government

FILE PHOTO - The Huawei logo is seen at Huawei Connect in Shanghai, China, September 23, 2020. REUTERS-Aly Song

It has been observed that the idea of eGovernance was to satisfy the unwilling customers.

The Global Chief Public Services Industry Scientist, Enterprise Business Group of Huawei Technologies Co Limited, Mr Hong-Eng Koh, disclosed this at the Nigeria eGovernment Summit 2021 in Lagos themed ‘eGovernment Adoption in Nigeria: Opportunities and Challenges’.

“Basically, eGovernment is to make the unwilling citizens willing,” Koh said, stressing the need for Nigeria to centralise government portal to achieve eGovernment.

While everyone is connecting to it for many different reasons, since 20 years ago that the Internet became pervasive, he said security threats and the waves of money were good reasons, but that being user-centric was the most important reason.

“What do I mean by user-centric? If you open a restaurant, when it is not user-centric, you would have to go to many departments: fire safety, registration of the business name, environment history and others.

“All of us sitting here, whether Singapore or Nigeria, are all customers of the government,” Koh, known for evangelising collaborative eGovernment, said.

To achieve eGovernment, he explained, Nigeria needs a single portal, as eGovernment satisfies unwilling customers, and not just dreaming on wide imaginations without bringing it to pass.

Koh noted the United Nations’ standard on the stages of eGovernment to include having an Internet, enhancing eGovernment, interacting online, being transactional and citizen-centric, as well as collaborating to make unwilling customers willing.

“You need collaborations between the governments, privates and the citizens,” he emphasised.

Explaining that every government transaction is a means to an end, he said, “With digital transformation, the government can connect the means to an end.”

While emphasising how eGovernment works in Singapore, Koh said there were many things Nigeria needed to do to transform eGovernment.

“You guys are all experts and professionals in your field. You must think of your own vision. You must think of your own services, how to make your unwilling customers to be willing,” Koh said.

He noted that digital transformation was not just about going online.

“It is not just improving Return on Investment; you have to do more. You have to redefine your vision. You have to redefine your organisations. To do that, you have to satisfy unwilling customers and improve the efficiency of current solutions.

“Data transformation is all about people, location, object, events and organisations. Most projects fail, not because of planning but people,” he said.

Noting that Huawei’s technology can support the Nigerian eGovernment drive, he added, “Technology is only a small part of any transformation. You need people to serve the people. You must be willing to drive change.”

The event was attended by stakeholders from different sectors, including the Nigerian Communications Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, States Internal Revenue Services, Lagos State Government, Association of Licensed Operators of Nigeria; Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria; National Information Technology Development Agency; Information Communications Technology companies and other agencies of government.

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