Harnessing Technology for Good Governance in Cross River, Nigeria

In today’s rapidly evolving world, technology has emerged as a crucial catalyst for promoting effective and transparent governance. Recognizing this, a recent stakeholders’ engagement event organized by The Cross River Movement (TCRM) shed light on the potential of technology in ensuring good governance in Cross River State, Nigeria. Notable information technology expert and former Cabinet member, Mr. Odo Effiong, shared valuable insights during the event, emphasizing the need for transparent e-government services, widespread technology education, and capacity building to overcome the challenges faced by the region. This article explores the highlights of the event and outlines the role technology can play in guaranteeing good governance in Cross River.

Addressing Governance Challenges: Mr. Odo Effiong commenced the event by acknowledging the prevailing governance challenges faced by Cross River State, including transparency issues, inefficiency, corruption, limited access to information, and weak institutions. These issues have severely undermined public trust and hampered socioeconomic development. However, he stressed that technology provides extraordinary opportunities to tackle these problems head-on and propel the region forward.

Leveraging Technology for Progress: Effiong emphasized the importance of transparent e-government services to manage public procurement, financial and project management effectively. By embracing agile methodologies and digitally transforming processes, the government can enhance project tracking and overall efficiency. However, he cautioned that technology is only as effective as the individuals behind it, underscoring the need for comprehensive capacity building across educational institutions of varying sizes in Cross River and Nigeria as a whole.

The Call for Accountability: Ade Olumude, another participant at the event, highlighted the significance of accountability in achieving good governance. He stressed the need for the Federal Government’s involvement and a cultural shift toward transparency. Olumude identified transparency as a crucial component missing from the current political environment, emphasizing that change must be driven from the top to create lasting impact.

Political Will and Technological Literacy: Jonathan Abang, the News Editor of Cross River Watch, emphasized the technological literacy of the people in Cross River State. He noted that residents in every ward are familiar with popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, reflecting the region’s tech-savviness. Abang emphasized that the success of technology adoption ultimately hinges on the political will of the state’s governor, emphasizing that if there is a genuine desire for progress, it can be achieved.

The Way Forward: Iso Bassey, the founder of TCRM and chief host of the event, expressed gratitude for the successful engagement and called for increased participation in the pursuit of good governance in Cross River State. He acknowledged the crucial role technology can play in transforming the region’s governance landscape and encouraged stakeholders to continue working together to ensure its effective implementation.

The stakeholders’ engagement on technology and good governance in Cross River State highlighted the immense potential of technology in addressing the governance challenges faced by the region. By adopting transparent e-government services, investing in technology education, and fostering capacity building, Cross River can take a significant leap forward. However, the transformational power of technology relies on the commitment of government officials and the cultivation of a culture of transparency and accountability. With collective efforts and political will, technology can indeed guarantee good governance, fostering socioeconomic development and public trust in Cross River, Nigeria.