ICT Missing as Govts Chase Shadows
NO modern economy can exist without fundamental information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure because these are the tool for national and economic development.
In recognition of this truism, some governments around the world are transforming themselves into e-governments to meet the challenges of modern day.
Examples are India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia where the governments deliberately orchestrated chains of events that culminated in making countries pillars of ICT in the world.
These governments recognize that embracing ICT will result in improved transparency, speedy information dissemination, higher administrative efficiency and improved public service sectors including: transportation, education, health, water, peace and security.
Conventional wisdom supported by imperial economic studies dictates that market forces alone are incapable of accelerating the development of ICT and indeed the economy.
Government must be the unseen hand that weaves the magic wand.
Responsible government is like a catalyst that speed up reaction without seen to be taking part in the reaction.
The proof lies in the fact the gross domestic product (GDP) of Singapore with a population of just over 3 million is over $40,000.
This is made possible by the massive political will of the government of that country.
In Nigeria, the case is different with a GDP of $2000 and seemingly unconcerned leaders.
Nigeria is currently living precariously with over dependence on her depleting oil and gas resources.
The huge disconnect between Nigerian government and ICT is puzzling.
Either by sheer ignorance or refusal to do the right thing at the right time; successive governments in Nigeria have continued to chase shadows.
Sometimes it is simply because they do not know and are not bothered to learn.
Political will is not something Nigerian leaders would have to go extra mile to provide.
It is not also intangible; it takes an individual, generally situated somewhere within the state apparatus (best if the person is at a very high level) to stir ICT revolution.
ICT is the tool used by the leaders of India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Ghana, Uganda and Malaysia to transform their countries.
Nigeria with its wealth of human capital and natural resources has even better potentials but the attention of the ruling class is elsewhere.
They are inclined to putting square peg in a round hole. Appointments to certain sensitive offices suggest that the government is not serious about using ICT as a platform for development.
ICT practitioners in the country must rise up and build a strong and united front to press home their demand for incentives that spur development.
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