E-Governance in Nigeria and Steps Taken to Transition into A Full-Fledged Digital Economy

Intent on building a working and globally competitive economy, the Nigerian Federal Government introduced the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to develop standards, guidelines, and frameworks for the development, standardization, and regulation of ICT practices in Nigeria.

In 2019, NITDA issued a Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy (NCCP) with the sole objective to digitally uplift supporting federal government enterprises. The goal of the NCCP is to ensure a 30% increase in adoption of cloud computing; and 35% growth in cloud computing investment in Nigeria by 2024 for Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) and Small Medium and Enterprises (SMEs) that deliver digital-enabled services to the Federal government.

The prerequisite for a successful cloud-based e-Governance adoption is the acquisition of a cloud first policy in each supporting Federal Government enterprise. The NCCP ‘cloud-first’ initiative is expected to enhance easy access to government information or data for both businesses and citizens and increase the efficiency of public service delivery, amongst others.

The adoption of the cloud first initiative will help streamline processes and operations in many FPIs in Nigeria, foster trust in the people by providing transparency, and pave a way for innovative ideas on a large scale.

The adoption of the Nigeria Cloud Computing Policy needs to be approached with adequate security measures for the protection of governmental information as many questions will be raised and issues vetted during this process of implementation.

The success or failure of cloud-based e-Governance hinges on some form of credibility. However, it opens Nigeria up to the opportunities that pervade a working digital economy. The World Bank Digital Economy Diagnostic Report highlights Nigeria’s potentials juxtaposed with an urgent need for strategic investments which will enable the national transformation of lives.

Nigeria has made some strides towards the development of a digital economy with the introduction of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan in 2017 which recognizes the need for a robust digital economy that leverages the country’s vibrant youth workforce.

The World Bank diagnostic report already provides an assessment of Nigeria’s digital economy and provides recommendations which will support the development of all subsets of a working digital economy.

One key recommendation is the access to financial services. Over 60 million Nigerians live without access to a formal account. This was also a focus discussion at last year’s Nigeria Digital Economy Summit. Financial inclusion will help put Nigeria (and Africa) at the forefront of a developing innovative digital economy.

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