Against the backdrop of the furore generated by the debate on the mode of transmission of election results, a wider application of information technology will strengthen the democratic process by reducing the impact of the human element, Bashorun Askia Ogieh has said.
Bashorun Askia, managing director of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), spoke weekend at the elective annual general meeting of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) Warri branch to mark its 10th anniversary, held at the PTI Conference Centre, Effurun.
The National Assembly is still embroiled in the controversy surrounding the restriction on incorporating the electronic transmission of election results into the Electoral Act.
Bashorun Askia, represented by his Executive Assistant, Mrs. Anthonette Dick-Duvwarovwo, said widespread intervention of human element in the electoral process is a major impediment to having transparent and credible elections.
He noted that the intensity with which Nigerians clamoured for electronic transmission of election results showed that the people are aware of the real obstacles to credible elections.
“The unmistakable message from this is that Nigerians believe that the less of human element we have in running of government, the more credible our processes will be,” the DESOPADEC boss said.
According to him, the same perception applies to the civil service, the engine room for government, noting that deepening the application of technology and other instruments that reduce the role of human element will improve the quality of governance and reduce waste in the system.
“I am the first to admit that the wheel of government needs the application of information technology to boost efficiency, eliminate waste, block leakages, improve accountability and instill confidence in the people that, indeed, public resources are being appropriately utilized,” Bashorun Askia said.
He urged ANAN to drive the process by designing fool-proof strategies in making government and the other sectors more accountable and transparent.
“Partnering the government in this venture through continuous training, retraining, seminars and workshops by applying modern tools hold the key to a more efficient utilisation of increasingly limited resources for even greater results. In a nutshell, the process of governance has to be digitised and a professional group as ours has to lead the process”, he said.
Bashorun Askia said Nigeria needs ANAN to take the front row seat in charting a fresh course and making government more transparent and responsive in the management of resources.
He commended the Warri branch of ANAN for upholding the ideals of the association, noting that the success of the changes Nigerians seeks to make to make the society better will depend largely on the advocacy of professional and private sector groups as ANAN.