Ogun State Government has asked the technology industry players to see government as partners in progress to drive information technology (IT) growth in Nigeria.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]Ashiru urged Nigerian firms to follow the footsteps of technology firms like IBM that have helped the government to improve in its services by finding out the way the government is running, the things that the government is doing wrongly and proffer solutions to them.[/quote]Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, says that Nigerians, including the private sector in the IT industry to change any negative mindset they have about the government in the past and rather “see the government as partners in progress.”
The Commissioner who, told attendees at the IBM Business Connect 2016 organised by International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in Lagos that seeing government as partners helps improves service delivery.
“We shouldn’t see government the way we used to see government in the past. We should all see government as partners in progress so that we will improve in the servicing of our people”, he says.
Ashiru urged Nigerian firms to follow the footsteps of technology firms like IBM that have helped the government to improve in its services by finding out the way the government is running, the things that the government is doing wrongly and proffer solutions to them.
“The likes of IBM in Nigeria today, in Ogun state, they have helped us to introduce cashless services; they have helped us to improve in our hospitals. Technology has actually helped government to improve on their services. I remember those days when you go to the bank, you drop your cheque, you go to the market and come back to see whether the tally number is ready. But now, at the comfort of your home, you can use your phone and transfer funds to settle your bills, Ashiru told the IBM Business Connect 2016 in Lagos.
“You can see that things are changing in this country, even payment of salaries. Basically, we must continue to have the likes of IBM, continue to bring in different innovations that will help to improve the services that we render. Let us see how we can make the best of the large population in this country by using technology to drive our services”, the Ogun State Commissioner says.
According to him, Ogun State Government has been able to successfully tackle some issues relating to investors saying. “I joined the government in 2011. I happen to lead that team that went to meet the Governor in February 14, 2015 and we were able to let them know the area where they have problems and I will tell you this, if you want to register your business, it used to take about minimum six weeks but am happy to tell you today, it will take you 24 hours in my Ministry to register.”
Ashiru says further that “and coming from the private sector, I have been able to see the problem from the private sector and the problem with the government. My point is this, in Civil Service, when you take a broader Ministry and let them know that you mean business and ‘if we fail, we fail together, if we succeed, then we succeed together’. Today, Ogun State has the largest concentration of industries. It is because of what we are doing. We are using technology to drive the business of government”, Ashiru says.
Noting that all the major operators in the various sector of the economy have businesses in Ogun state, he stated, “There is no business that is not in Ogun state. What we are doing is to change the primary, previous way of thinking about the government. You can come into government and ask questions and even if you want, you can see the way things are going and you will be able to access all those things. Now, things are changing.
According to Ashiru, lack of accurate and enough data hamper the services rendered by government. “Technology helps the government to plan for the people but the problem we have in this country today is that we don’t even have enough data and that affects how government provides for the people.”