E-GovernanceAdoption and Environmental Bonuses: A study of Nigeria and UnitedKingdom
Everyother government aims at improving the socio-economic situations ofits citizens in a manner which is efficient, cost effective andnon-discriminatory. The participation of citizens in governancethrough lending of their ideas and voices to the different issuesthat directly impact them is one way through which governments canensure that the services delivered are acceptable. E-governance hasbeen made possible through the advent of Information CommunicationTechnologies (ICTs). Naz (2009) points out that e-governance is theapplication of ICT in the governance processes with the main aim ofachieving responsive, moral, accountable and transparent governance.Governments in both developed nations such as the UK and developingnations such as Nigeria have invested in e-government with the mainaim of saving on costs as well as bettering service delivery. Inaddition to putting in place e-government programs, many countrieshave also identified the implementation of e-governance as one oftheir important policy priority.
Despitethe increasing focus on implementation of e-governance by countriesacross the globe, inadequate assessment guidance means that thelittle is known about the real effect of investment in e-governance.However, the failure of certain programs has led to increasedattention with regard to the risks involved in the implementation ofe-governance. Heeks (2008) points out that the failure rate ofimplementing e-governance is 50%. The European Commission eGovernmentUnit (2006) also reports that European governments have been unableto show and quantify the benefits accrued from investing ine-governance. In developing countries, most studies indicate thatpublic service delivery has been weak and inconsistent with theexpectations of the governed (Naz, 2009).
InAfrica, the continued popularity of Information and CommunicationTechnologies has been widely as one of the important factors thatwould bring about a revolution on the continent. In the context ofgovernance, it is widely expected that implementation of e-governancewill allow state institutions to close down the big gap thatcurrently exists between the political class and other citizens. Thecurrent study seeks to access the impact of e-governance in Nigeriasince the country offers an interesting scenario to investigate howcitizens perceive e-governance and the impact that e-government hashad on the deli].very of public services. This is because of thecountry’s large population, fast rate of ICT diffusion as well ashigh levels of corruption that impede the delivery of public services(Adeyemo, 2010).
Nigerialevels of development compared to its potential have always posed apuzzle for both local and international researchers. As such,comparing how the country has implemented e-governance to how the UKhas implemented e-governance would offer an insight on what Nigeriahas to do in order to improve its public service delivery. Accordingto Adeyemo (2010) Nigeria has the fastest growing ICT market inAfrica, but still scores lowly in global e-government. He points outthat the surveys have identified the main barriers to successfule-government implementation. These barriers include reluctance ofmost government agencies to share information, low ICT literacylevels as well as uneven penetration of the internet across thecountry. Apart from that, e-governance implementation in Nigeria andmost developing nation is also hampered by inadequate financialresources as well as management challenges that result ine-government activities that are uncoordinated.
Thisstudy seeks to examine whether the use of online government servicescould produce significant savings in the use of papers, filingcabinets, folders and shelves in offices. A survey study researchmethod would be adopted where 24 federal ministry activities inNigeria would be compared with that of the United Kingdom with theuse of the secondary method of data collection. The paper is set tohelp the government improve on its revenue generation and at the sametime delivering on its promises to the electorate while contributingto save the environment. Mean, standard deviation and Pearson productmoment correlation statistic method would be used for the dataanalysis. This would help to ascertain how e-governance would help toreduce the environmental impact of papers, save cost, boostproductivity, make information sharing easier and help theenvironment.
Adeyemo(2010) points that e-government aims at improving the delivery ofpublic service, internal efficiency and the whole process ofgovernance. He states that there are various e-government deliverymodels namely government to government, government to citizens,government to employees and government to customer. According toKamar and Ongo’ndo (2007) governments around the globe are movingtowards e-governance due to the potential benefits it may offer.These benefits include higher levels of accountability andtransparency, improved efficiency as well as affordableadministrative costs.Naz (2009) states that numerous studies haveconcluded that utilization of ICT in the form of e-governance bringsabout a lot of benefits in terms of reforms and modernization of thedelivery of public services. Numerous studies also report that theirhas been increased investment in ICT by the public sector, with themain aim of improving service delivery as well as internalmanagement. Over the past two decades, various countries have madeconsiderable progress in the implementation of e-government.
Moststudies that have been conducted on the impact of e-governance onservice delivery report that there is a close connection betweene-governance and the quality of public service. Countries that havesuccessful e-government programs in place have been found to offerhigher quality services and at a lower cost to its citizens comparedto countries that are yet to implement e-government programs. Munyokaand Manzira (2013) point out that there are two major categories ofe-government programs namely those that focus on thepost-implementation of e-governance projects and those that focus onthe establishment of new e-government framework. Despite the manybenefits linked to the adoption of ICT by governments, a number ofresearchers opine that numerous evaluative studies conducted in thepast have failed to utilize a common theoretical framework with thesuccess and failure of e-government programs being presented on thebasis of purposive samples.
Theimpact measuring framework utilized in most studies is based onBhatagner and Sigh’s Key Outcome Dimension (Bhatagner and Sigh,2010). The framework identifies the main stakeholders involved ine-government and then assesses the impact that implementation ofe-governance programs has on each of the stakeholders. The three maingroups of stakeholders the framework identifies as being importantplayers in e-governance are the service providers, clients and thebroader society. The service providers include the various governmentdepartments running e-government programs while the clients are thecitizens receiving the e-government services. On the other hand thebroader society is made up of the civil society, businesses, theinternational society as well as other citizens. The framework takesinto consideration the fact that most e-government programs andsystems have other strategic goals which go beyond effectiveness andefficiency and also has political and social objectives such assustainability, inclusion and the overall wellbeing of the society(Munyoka and Manzira, 2013).
Thecurrent framework, as proposed by Bhatagner and Sigh (2010) focus onthose outcomes that are directly linked to delivery of e-services andwhich are measurable. According to Bhatagner and Sigh (2010), themain idea the framework focuses on is to measure the total value thateach e-government project delivers to different stakeholders and toidentify the different components of the value that have to bemeasured. Naz (2009) utilizes an agent-principal theory as the basisof his framework in his study. He points out that when applied to thepublic sector, the main focus on the theory is on accountability andtransparency between the principal who is the government, and theagents who are the governed.