Opinion:The Tech-Driven Governor
Edo state Governor Godwin Obaseki with the Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonaya Onu
By Jegede Joseph
London, May 4, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The Nigeria tech’s space is one of the fastest growing facets of Nigeria’s economy, from the economic capital – Lagos to other booming cities of the most populated Black Country on Earth, of which Benin City cannot be left out, most especially with a digital executive Governor whose foresight transcends the personal and conventional use of technology into a more collective instrument to better the lives of Edo State Residents.Tech has been redefined.
Technology beyond pristine doubt is changing the narratives of our everyday relations, from the social media experience to more engaging applications that track, coordinate, prompts and guide our daily activities. Our modern society is becoming more conformed to a network of data and virtual conversations that make solutions more personal and faster. Tech has become more synonymous with innovations centered around the internet, broadband solutions, Programming, artificial intelligence, aerospace, drones and other novel constructs than the broad usage of the word “Technology” a decade ago. The word ‘tech’ is now more about cutting-edge ideas that proffer solution and convenience, whether tangible or virtual and in Edo State, Mr. Governor is leading all the sectors of the state towards this height.
The developmental strides of Governor Godwin Obaseki in the aspect of tech-driven solutions to societal issues is very pronounced in every facet of Edo State, with these tech-driven structure in revenue collection, education, agriculture,data collection, research and archival processes, security, media and communication, trade and investment, sports, primary health care to mention but a few.
The Agricultural sector has been more productive with various technological input. In Edo State, the agricultural practices of substantial farming are gradually changing into a mechanized one with crowdfunding for farmers, durable harvesters, and tractors, solar-powered millers through Edo Agropreneur, Anchor Borrower’s Programme, among many others has transformed Edo State into a more formidable force in food processing and production.
In the educational sector, Edo State government under Governor Obaseki led-administration started its reforms from the basic education level, with over 2000 teachers trained on ICT tools backed with the distribution of electronic tablets with a centralized database for harmonized lesson notes. Edo State partnered with Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) for enhanced e-learning facilities across various schools in Edo State for better educational experience for every student. Most recent is the ongoing renovation of the Institute of Continuing Education, Benin City into a Tech Innovation Hub with an assured partnership with Google, Microsoft and other leading tech companies.
The internally generated revenue of Edo State is booming with e-revenue/tax collection backed by an Executive order from Mr. Governor with a total ban on all forms of illegal ticketing. The annual collection in local council areas climbed from N30 million in November 2016 to 150 million in November 2017 with the e-revenue process, of automated systems, Point of Sale (POS) machines, tax vouchers, tech has really revolutionized revenue collection Edo State. Governor Obaseki explained this huge success, “When we conducted the study, Oredo LGA used to remit N42,000 a day, but after we introduced electronic devices, that sum climbed to N500,000.”
Technology is really changing health systems globally with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), hi-tech medical equipment and Edo State Government is treading this part. The State has concluded plans to begin construction of the first twenty(20) technology-driven Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state fully equipped with basic technologies to facilitate collection of data and also serve as facilities to train community health providers, Mr. Governor emphasised the goal is to have “one Primary Healthcare Centre sited in each ward across the state. We intend to construct between 200 to 250 PHCs in the state in the next 20 to 30 months”
Information is widely recognized as a vital resource in governance and communication between Edo State Government and Edo State Residents has been very seamless with the use of technology, Talk to GGO (Talk to Governor Godwin Obaseki) an initiative of Mr. Governor geared towards participatory governance in the State through a call line, this initiative has yielded great result. There are so many tech-driven initiatives of Governor Obaseki led administration, from EdoJobs – the official portal for job opportunities in Edo State – to Edo ICTA headed by Mr. Lambert Ugorji, to the tech-driven Alaghodaro Investment Summit, to the Edo Geographic Information Service (GIS) with stationary aircraft hovering to take surveys of the Edo State, to the efficient media team of the Edo State Government both on virtual and conventional media disseminating the right information as at when due, to other series of innovation in the private sector, there is more to expect from this digital Governor.
With the whole process of governance electronically driven through the launching of State Integrated Information Management System (SIFIMS) to enhance and actualise the vision of a tech-driven State and the deployment of over 1,000 Internet-enabled computers to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Edo State to boost productivity, it is very clear beyond any reasonable doubt that Mr. Godwin Obaseki is a tech-driven Governor.
Jegede Joseph is a Freelance journalist based in Benin