E-GOVERNMENT: A VERITABLE TOOL FOR STEPPING -DOWN CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA
ESIAGU, UGOCHUKWU E.
DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
AKANU IBIAM FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC, UNWANA
ESIAGU, LILIAN N.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC NEKEDE, OWERRI
The socio-economic and political backwardness of Nigeria as a nation is being blamed by many on massive corruption going on at the corridors of power. This ugly trend has continued unabated, largely due to lack of sufficient, accurate and timely information for the public. An average Nigerian citizen is scarcely aware of the activities of the government he is part of. The main focus of this paper is on the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in public administration businesses of Nigerian government. This paper aims at bridging the information gap that exists between the government and the public, which is capable of reducing corruption. In the course of this study, causes of corruption were identified as well as the benefits and challenges of E-government application.
Key words: E-government, Information and Communication Technologies, Corruption, Internet.
A few years ago, the popular slogan within the ICT society has been “the world is becoming a global village”. Going by the remarkable landmark recorded in the ICT world today, one can rightly say that the world is already a global village. Most nations of the world today use the internet as their major source of information generation, collation, and dissemination. The benefits accruing from the application of this technology is enormous and Nigeria cannot afford to be an exception. ICT has continued to make waves since the advent of computers in the 1950s.The increasing application of computers and other information technology (IT) related products in almost all facets of human life, has also contributed to the high growth of the ICT sector. ICTs involve the capture, processing of data and the dissemination of the resultant information using computers and its allied equipment and accessories to the masses. It is worthy to note that despite this rapid growth in the ICT industry, some developing countries including Nigeria are yet to achieve an appreciable level of computerization in their dealings. Opara (2007) stated “Nigeria has started but is still groping for the formula that will enable her achieve the optimum in IT”. The information society we live in, relies so much on computers and indeed the internet to enable us gather and disseminate information more quickly and easily too. The knowledge and ideas embedded in information Technology environment are the engines that drive the economy (Enyi, 2007). UNDP (2004) defined corruption as the misuse of public power, office or authority for private benefit through bribery, extortion, influence, peddling, nepotism, fraud, speed money or embezzlement. There is no gainsaying the effects of corruption on Nigeria and Nigerians. E-government on its part refers to “government’s use of ICT to work more effectively, share information and deliver better services to the public (Sub- hash and Christine, 2003). This mode of governance is highly beneficial as it makes administration easier and restores public confidence on the government. Various regimes of Nigerian government have identified corruption as the bane of Nigeria’s economic growth and development, and have initiated policies and programs to curb it (Okeke, 1996). These efforts have usually failed because information and communication technologies have not been given their proper place in the fight against corruption. That makes this paper imperative as it highlights the linkage between ICT and Governance. Causes of Corruption in Nigeria
There are many factors that have been identified as the major causes of corruption in Nigeria. For the purpose of this paper, however,...