Nigeria in deeper trouble if we don’t cut waste, Obaseki warns

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has raised the alarm over the high rate of wastage in government, especially at the federal level.

He warned that the country would be in deeper trouble unless the nation takes deliberate steps to cut down waste.

He also  reeled out the gains of his administration’s e-governance system, calling for the digitalisation of government processes across all levels of government in the country, in order to ensure transparency and reduce cost.

Obaseki spoke as a panelist during a plenary on “Reinventing Government: Digitalisation of Public Institutions,” at the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit, in Abuja.

We need to reinvent governance

The governor said:  “We need to reinvent governance. You can’t reinvent government unless you digitalise and open up your systems.

“We have no option. We have to be efficient. We have to be efficient to support production.

“Especially at the federal government level,  the waste is too much and unless we change, we will be in trouble.

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“In fact, we are already in trouble and if we don’t change, we will be in deeper trouble.”

Digitalisation of government requires political will

Obaseki, sharing his Edo State e-governance experience at the event, said digitalisation of government required the political will and commitment of the political leaders because of resistance from civil servants.

He noted that sometimes even when the political leader has a well-thought-out and noble policy, getting civil servants to implement same was a challenge and in his case, he had to insist.

The governor stated that until the digitalisation exercise in Edo State, civil servants, public office holders, and the executive operated in silos, adding that the story has now changed.

The Obaseki-led state government, over the past seven years, has pursued bold and transformative reforms to digitise work processes in the civil and public service, transiting service delivery from an archaic, analog, and strenuous mode to a digitised, seamless, and efficient mode.

Now, all files are now processed through the service-wide e-government platform, ensuring quick turnaround time.

Today, the State is the most digitally connected in Nigeria and operates the most digitised civil and public service, with all local governments connected to fibre optics.

Edo State is also the first in the country to have entirely shifted to a digital mode of administration.

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