E-GOVERNMENT : Meaning & Definition of Electronic Government
In this article, the following sub-topics will be examined the meaning of e-government, explanation of the offices / areas it can be used and discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of e-government.
Meaning of E-Government
E-government is the use of the internet and the world wide web for delivering government information. The focus of e-government should be on the use of information and communication technologies for better government.
The alphabet ‘e’ in e-government actually stands for electronic. The delivery models include Government to Citizen (G2C), Government To Business (G2B) and Government to Employee (G2E).
Offices and Areas E-government Can be Used
E-government can be used in the following areas or businesses:
- Revenue collection – revenue collection by customs and immigration can be carried out at bank branches and other channels as well as encouraging online revenue collection. There can also be revenue collection at markets and other remote locations using online and online technologies.
- Citizen Health Management Solutions that can deliver health care services to citizens through partnership with health management providers.
- Personnel management solutions that can ensure effective employee management and thereby eliminate leakages, especially those caused by ghost workers.
- Automation of payment of social benefit e.g payment of gratuities, pension, social security, etc. This will enable deserving citizens to get exactly what they deserve.
- Registration of aliens and issuance of expatriate quota by the immigration.
- Registration of voters by the electoral commission and issuance of voters’ cards.
- Issuance of national identity card.
- Payment for services rendered by government agencies.
- Issuance of driver’s licence.
- Adoption of cashless policy e.g cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced in 2012.
- Payment of school fees.
Benefit of E-Government
The benefits of e-government include the following:
- It facilitates the use of information and communication for continuos optimization of service delivery by government agencies.
- E-government promotes good governance by transforming internal and external relationships.
- It fosters citizen or constituency participation in government.
- E-government helps to deal with the problem of ghost workers and non-payment of pensions and gratuities.
- It quickens the pace at which services are delivered to the citizens.
- It facilitates business with foreign investors and international institutions.
- E-government promotes a cashless economy.
Problems of E-Government
The problems of e-government include the following:
- The inability of government to invest in technologies that could easily drive governance and administration of its various processes and systems may undermine e-government.
- Government’s inability to fultill its promises to the people and implement the e-government in the past (e. g the failed National Identity Card scheme) may create apathy and cause every initiative of the government including the e-government to be viewed with a lot of scepticism.
- There are inadequate IT infrastructures to drive epayment in Nigeria.
- There is inadequate support from the government which leaves most of the initiatives largerly pioneered by the private sector.
- The lack of needed technical skills for utilizing various e-payment services also constitutes a problem for the scheme.
- There are insufficient and low presence of e-payment channels in various service points such as hospitals, educational institutions, etc.
- The high level of illiteracy in the country, particularly in the rural areas may reduce access to e-government.