Abuja – A Consultant to the EU, Mr Christopher Okafor, has advised the Federal Government to institutionalise electronic-governance (e-governance) to eliminate corruption in the country.
Okafor, Head of EU Support to the Federal Governance Reform (SUFEGOR) programme, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
Okafor, a former Head of Statistics at the Central Bank of Nigeria, said government should increase statistical production to eliminate corruption in the country.
According to him, e-governance is the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for delivering government services and exchange of information communication.
“We should institutionalise things that will eliminate corruption; that is the area of e-governance because that is where ultimately statistical production goes.
“When we computerise most of our activities in the country, it will help us to eliminate all forms of corruption.
“I give you example of the present practice at the international airports, where if you don’t pay your money, the bar will not be opened to you because it is computerised.
“You don’t have to know anybody to access the bar because unless you pay your money it cannot open.
“So those are the kinds of arrangement we should put in place so that data drives the process and not human beings.
“That is the way to address corruption,’’ the statistician said.
Okafor, however, called on government to increase funding for statistics production to address corruption, noting that support for statistics production had been neglected in the past.
He said development partners had invested in the sector, adding that without the development partners, statistics production in the country would have been at its lowest ebb.
“Government should first and foremost see data as strategic resource by all nations and how well this strategic resource is utilised depends on how well the statistical system is developed.
“ If it funds data production, we will have data that will guide policy making, policy direction and this will inform government’s planning to suit the desires of the populace.
“So long as we begin to do things with data, Nigerians will become more transparent and to that extent corruption will be eliminated,’’ the statistician said.
In addition, he advised the government to establish Consultative Committee on Statistics to harmonise sector statistics in the country to address the challenge of conflicting data.
Okafor, former President of Nigerian Statistical Association, said the committee would be able to produce accurate data and harmonise them in specific sectors such as health, education and agriculture.
“There should be proper coordination among various sectors and also coordination with the National Bureau of Statistics and other stakeholders.”
He said this would eliminate duplication of efforts and prevent production of multiple data in the country. (NAN)