Why Edo State Is Taking The Lead In E-Governance

Why Edo State Is Taking The Lead In E-Governance

Technology has propelled the world to the point where mankind could literarily ‘converse’ with the elements.
Man has harnessed the ether so much that the earth may one day be made into a giant spaceship, propelled by the very gravitational pull which ought to have militated against its acceleration.
As paradoxical as that may sound, this is the extent to which modern advancement in technology could take humanity. Anyone not geared up for this new dynamics may find themselves unable to cope in a new age birthed simply by technology.
World leaders and leaders of thought in various disciplines have long keyed into the new innovations which the digital age affords.
World powers who with the aid of technology could launch atomic weapons as far back as the 1940s, about 80 years later, have evidently taken giant leaps in cutting-edge technology; leaps which most developing nations are yet to fathom in their wildest dreams.
Any nation today not governed by leaders with digital and innovative mind-sets may be left behind in the scheme of things especially as it relates to the digitalization of state-owned institutions.
The private sector in many developing nations has since evolved with modern trends in information and communication technology and globalization in conducting businesses, while the public sector in developing nations remain stuck in analogue mode of operations; a reason most public institutions in developing nations are in comatose today.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State understands this singular hindrance to progress in the modern world, a reason he has adopted a governance approach that leverages technology for socio-economic growth.
In January 2022, the Governor announced the transition of the state’s public service into a full fledge e-governance model beginning from the month of February 2022, after a series of evolutionary steps taken towards the transition, such as the digitization of the civil/public service which has seen to the training and retraining of public servants on technology-based service delivery.
Modern work ethics and etiquettes have been introduced into the state’s public and civil service especially with the aid of the Edo State Civil and Public Service Transformation and Enhancement Programme (EdoSTEP) which has enhanced efficiency and service delivery in the state.
The civil/public service reforms of the Obaseki administration in Edo State may yet be studied as a topic in History, Government and Political Science in various institutions of learning in Africa and across the globe.
As a result of the Governor’s stance on e-governance, Edo State was recently proclaimed by the World Bank as the leading state in e-procurement, after awarding 38 contracts in four pilot ministries, since the Governor launched the state’s electronic portal in 2021 to engender a transparent and accountable process in the state’s public procurements/supplier exchange.
The state through its electronic portal has made the business-to-government purchase and sale of supplies, work and services, through the Internet and other information and networking systems, very easy.
This giant stride recently impelled the Nigerian Governor’s Forum to send delegates to Edo State to enable them understudy the state’s e-procurement model.
The Education sector in the state has since witnessed transformation tech-wise since the advent of the Obaseki administration, beginning with the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo BEST) programme, which has seen to the training and retraining of over 11,000 teachers in digital pedagogy as part of the Teachers Development Training exercise, after which teachers and head teachers were equipped with teaching tablets and smart phones to aid effective and quality learning outcomes.
The initiative which attracted the World Bank has propelled the global institution to partner with Edo State Government in driving the programme.
Other states in the federation and across the shores have sent high-powered delegations to understudy the initiative in order to replicate same in their respective states.
The success of the initiative resulted in the recent launch of Edo BEST 2.0 by Governor Obaseki, which now extends Edo-BEST to junior secondary schools and other institutions of higher learning in the state, including Vocational and Technical Education and Training (TVET).
Junior school teachers in the state were recently trained on tech-based teaching methods and classroom management techniques, after which they were equipped with computer tablets for effective delivery of lessons.
The Obaseki tech drive does not halt in education as the Governor has continued to equip Edo youths with in-demand tech skills and knowledge of computer programmes.
The Governor established the Edo Innovation Hub to bring young people in ICT together and afford them access to opportunities in ICT training, equipping them with requisite digital skills for a competitive advantage in the global ICT market.
In furtherance of his quest to make the state the leading tech hub in the country, Governor Obaseki entered into a partnership with Decagon and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to train Edo youths on software engineering and development; a partnership which today has birthed a technology hub known as Edo Tech Park.
Edo State as it stands could be regarded as the fastest growing tech hub in Nigeria at a time many states in the federation are yet to comprehend the huge growth potential inherent in the global tech ecosystem.
By John Ewah

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