No more papers, delays in govt offices as Governor Obaseki digitalizes governance

No more papers, delays in govt offices as Governor Obaseki digitalizes governance

Timeliness in government communications has always been an issue of great concern. The bureaucratic structures of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have made the treatment of files seem like a strenuous exercise because of undue delays.

The inefficiency that once inhibited Government services in Edo State was evidenced in several complaints from both State workers and citizens, on the number of days files had to lay on a table before they were processed.

There were also several mischiefs and hanky-panky in the system which led to unnecessary delay in treating files, thereby militating against efficiency and prompt service delivery in the public service.

These lapses necessitated the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to adopt a faster and more effective means of solving the challenges associated with manual handling of files, files management, data processing, inter and intra departmental communications in Government and better storage devices for information and data, as provided for through Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The deployment of ICT has ignited and provoked radical and drastic changes that have affected and revolutionized the communication industry, most especially in immediacy and timely dissemination of information. Technology does not only facilitate and enhance the creation, processing, sharing and dissemination of information but also places high priority on its immediacy and timeliness.

Recent studies in public administration in Nigeria reveal that for Government to improve and enhance its administrative capacity to offer quality services and improve on the living standards of the citizenry, there is a need to shift from the Weberian public administrative style which is characterized by retarded way of thinking, crude system of operation, manual file management and administrative bottlenecks, to a new paradigm of electronic governance premised on change, among others.

Governor Godwin Obaseki formally adopted and implemented e-governance in the State on 1st February 2022, and mandated that all Government files be sent electronically and treated within 48 hours. The e-governance platform enables public servants in the State to treat files both within the office and remotely.

Edo State today is now 100 percent on the e-governance platform as all 94 extant MDAs have been on-boarded and now live on the platform. This has enabled electronic interface in receiving and sending of mails, files and other documents within and between MDAs in the State.

In an interview with the Edo State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa Esq., he noted that the e-governance platform will ensure timeliness in Government communication.

According to Okungbowa, “The project is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. The purpose of the e-governance platform is to basically ensure transparency in governance, reduce corruption to the barest minimum, and ensure efficiency in the bureaucracy and timeliness in Government communications across all the various Government parastatals. The ball has been set rolling and e-governance is the future of governance”

After a series of evolutionary steps taken towards the transition from manual to digital public service, such as the training and retraining of civil and public servants in technology-based approach to service delivery, the e-governance platform has finally come to set public service in the State on the course of efficiency and effectiveness, which in turn will aid the socio-economic growth and development of the State and its people through timely service delivery.

With the adoption of e-governance, timeliness in communication processes is now assured in the State’s public service. Governor Godwin Obaseki remains committed to improving public service in the State as part of measures towards the realization of the MEGA agenda.

Piece excluding headline by Violet Osatohanmwen Obamwonyi

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