Rauf Aregbesola, Osun State Governor, has said that the e-payment policy adopted by the state has doubled revenue to N600 million within a short period.
A few months ago, the Osun State Government deployed the EBS Programme, an application software designed as backbone model for the state’s Electronic Banking System of Revenue Cycle Management to check fraud in the revenue generating system, Aregbesola says.
The monthly internally generated revenue jumped by 100 per cent from N300 million to N600 million, Aregbesola says noting that the innovation is an important driver of growth and development that Africa as a continent must take seriously, citing the state’s e-payment policy as an example.
“A simple policy of e-payment doubled our revenue from N300 million to N600 million when we directed that all government’s revenues through taxes, fines, levies and dues be paid directly into government accounts in the banks, and not through middlemen or directly to any government agency again”, the Governor said while delivering a speech at the launch of Africa Business Club by Imperial College Business School in London.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]”This tablet (Opon imo) contains all the recommended 56 textbooks by the three examination bodies for senior school certificate examinations in Nigeria. It contains also past questions of these bodies, a virtual classroom, extracurricular zone and the themes of Yoruba traditional religion. This tablet was the saving grace in a year when teachers went on strike for eight months and did not prepare the final year students for their examinations”, Aregesola said.[/quote]Aregbesola told the forum that “innovation is an important driver of growth and development ,the economic, political, social and even entertainment leadership of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in the world is as a result of their leadership in innovation”.
“We see this in the creation and diffusion of new products, processes and methods. Their firms invest as much in the knowledge-based assets that drive innovation, such as software, databases, research and development, firm-specific skills and organisational capital.”
According to him, the third edition of the Oslo Manual (OECD and Eurostat, 2005) defines innovation as the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service) or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations. An innovation must have novelty.
“This novelty can be to the firm, to the market or to the world. Sometimes, it can be a combination of some or all”, he adds.
“It is innovation, the bringing of something new into a situation, that brings change. In other words, change is innovation. Therefore, if you want to change a situation, bring innovation. In looking at Africa’s development challenges, there is the need to identify the persistence of certain issues. The first problem is the dis-articulation of Africa’s economy”, the Osun Governor added.
Aregesola further disclosed that knowing the importance of education to the African continent, it received the greatest attention and resources from his administration and one of its first tasks was to convene an education summit, headed by the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, which produced the blueprint of the state’s education reforms.
According to the Governor, “in a state of roughly four million people, we embarked on an ambitious programme of building from scratch 100 elementary schools, 50 middle schools and 20 high schools. Each of these schools has a capacity for 600 pupils, with the high school being a three in one, each designed and equipped to sustain 1000 pupils.
“These new public schools soon began to displace private schools. We provided a stand-alone e-learning tablet, which we named ‘Opon Imo’ (tablet of knowledge), for final year students in public schools, in share display of creativity.
“This tablet (Opon imo) contains all the recommended 56 textbooks by the three examination bodies for senior school certificate examinations in Nigeria. It contains also past questions of these bodies, a virtual classroom, extracurricular zone and the themes of Yoruba traditional religion. This tablet was the saving grace in a year when teachers went on strike for eight months and did not prepare the final year students for their examinations”, Aregesola said.
According to the Governor, “on a final note, let me say that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel again. We can take the principles that brought development for others and modify them to our peculiar circumstances and needs in a most innovative way.”