Interrogating the Application of E-Governance for Service Delivery: A Study of Ojo and Alimosho Local Government Areas, Lagos State

Interrogating the Application of E-Governance for Service Delivery: A Study of Ojo and Alimosho Local Government Areas, Lagos State

Francis Friday Nchuchuwe (Lagos State University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2565-3.ch002

Abstract

This study examined the application of e-governance for service delivery in Ojo and Alimosho Local government areas of Lagos State. Questionnaire and Interviews were used as major instruments for data collection alongside other secondary sources. The simple Random Sampling technique was used to derive a sample of 100 respondents from a population size of 748 workers from Ojo and Alimosho Local Government Areas. Simple percentages were used for the demographic data analysis, as well as to test the hypotheses. The findings revealed that the application of E-governance is still a far cry in the local governments. Generally, the concept is novel among the workers as it is generally construed to mean electronic payment of salaries and lodgments into the Banks by the citizens. Beyond this, it was revealed that such facilities like web sites, constant electricity supply, enabling environments to boost tele-density, internet diffusion, adult computer literacy, cyber cafes, computer, etc. were not adequately available as expressed by the respondents.
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Introduction

The application of ICT at every facet of human’s existence, the world over has reached extraordinary heights, stimulating fundamental changes and development in the way people and organizations relate, share information and conduct transactions (Nchuchuwe & Ojo, 2015). This probably informed why Edewor, Imhonopi & Urim (2014) pointed out that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become, within a very short time, one of the basic building blocks of modern society. According to them, ICTs have successfully changed the social, economic and political spaces globally. In Nigeria various reforms have been carried out and policies implemented with the aim of positioning the local government system in Nigeria for quality service delivery. The enactment of the National Information Technology policy and National Information Technology Development Act of 2001 and 2007 respectively were among the moves by the federal government to apply ICT for service delivery to the citizens. However, despite these efforts the application of ICT is still a far cry at all levels of government. According to Arowolo (2012), Performance of Nigerian public service has been a major concern to policy makers and researchers as well. This is because despite all measures put in place to arrest the performance failure, the service, it seems, has defied all approaches towards tackling the problem of inefficiency and capacity collapse. The submission sums up the perennial problems bedeviling public service delivery in Nigeria. The Local government is not an exception. Indeed, not only is service delivery poor, the political elites have completely dominated the policy and decision making process thereby denying the populace the right to participate in the decisions that affect them especially for service delivery. Coupled with this is poor revenue generation and colossal corruption in the local governments. As Adeyemi (2012) puts it, “corruption in the local government has become so canonically accommodated, entertained, and celebrated within the system”. To Oviasuyi et al. (2010), “Corruption has become pervading, unabashed, uncontrolled and persistent….”

Quoting the Chairman of one of the anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria – the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Fajonyomi & Olu-Owolabi (2013) pointed out that the local government has become a “bastion of corruption” because “more than 12 out of 54 criminal cases it was having in courts were against local government chairmen and its officials”.

As Oruonye (2013) also puts it, corruption is so entrenched in the Nigerian local government system “so much so that practically nothing happens at the local government level”. This may be a pointer to the notion that the local government may be the most corrupt tier of government in the country. This must have also accounted for why a former chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes and Other Related Offences Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri, painted a gloomy picture of the situation when she posited:

... The waste of government resources at the council level had reached monumental proportions. The local government council in the country could not explain the mismanagement of over N3.313 trillion (N165/$) allocated to them across the country. Unfortunately, local government officials have not left their hands unsoiled in this regard… they drive to the council headquarters in their jeeps from the state capitals or the Federal Capital Territory, pay salaries and share other monies and disappear until it is time to share the next subvention. (Onwuemenyi, in Adeyemi, 2012)

To say the least, public service delivery in the local government of Nigeria has become so abysmal. This is where the application of E-governance comes in. The adoption of E-governance (ICT), cannot be overlooked in ensuring the improvement of public service delivery in the local government system of Nigeria. This study is therefore geared towards establishing the extent of ICT applications in the Local government and determine the problems therein to make its application result oriented.

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