Latest report from the United Nations' eGovernment Development ranking shows that Nigeria has moved some steps up by 21 points to 141 out of 193 countries rated in the UN Global eGovernment Development Index for 2014.
The recent ranking is an improvement from the past, where Nigeria was ranked 162 in 2012. Nigeria also ranked 97 in the eParticipation index, an improvement of 22 points.
The upward movement of Nigeria in the 2014 ranking, had been attributed to the progress being made by the Nigerian government through the Ministry of Communications Technology in enabling and promoting eGovernance in Nigeria.
According to the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Efem Nkanga, the ministry has embarked on initiatives to deploy ICT to drive transparency and efficiency in governance and public service delivery, which has helped in the improvement of Nigeria in the recent UN ranking.
To enable internal efficiency in government, the ministry is promoting ICT in government by facilitating e-Government, which enhances transparency, efficiency, productivity and citizen engagement.
The 'Getting Government Online’ initiative the Ministry is facilitating is geared at ensuring that government deploys technology as a mechanism to transform the way government operates and enhance the effectiveness of government service delivery for the benefit of its citizens, Nkanga said.
This, she further explained, has led to the implementation of two flagship projects, namely the Government Service Portal (GSP) and Government Contact Centre (GCC).
The Government Service Portal provides a single window technology access by citizens and other stakeholders to government services being provided by various Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs). It is multi-featured and includes collaborative channels that deliver core content management capabilities.
The primary objectives of deploying GSP are to create a single point of entry to federal government services, enhance accountability and improve the delivery and quality of public services through technology-enabled government services.
GSP would also transform government processes to increase public administration efficiency, increase end-user productivity by integrating many different services or data access paths of MDAs - under a consistent presentation standard and mainstream some of the government’s non-sensitive datasets on the portal.
The phase one of GSP included the automation of 10 government processes from the Federal Ministry of Education; Federal Ministry of Health; Federal Ministry of Agriculture; Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology.
Some of the processes automated are drug authentication, farmer's registration, registration and accreditation of seed companies, seed import and export permit, trademark registration, patent registration, acquisition of license for class type license and acquisition of individual type license, spectrum license, among others.
The Ministry is currently automating the pre-incorporation and post-incorporation processes of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and online payment on the GSP. The Ministry is also setting up Government Contact Centres, which will facilitate efficient response to citizen requests through a two-tier response approach.
The contact centre, which will be located in the six geopolitical zones of the country is planned to house robust databases as well as accommodate 150 operator seats, the ministry said.