Open access peer-reviewed chapter - ONLINE FIRST

e-Governance and Anti-Corruption War in Africa: The Nigeria Experience

By John Sunday Ojo

Submitted: January 22nd 2019Reviewed: May 23rd 2019Published: September 27th 2019

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.87012

Downloaded: 144

Abstract

The failure of traditional governance model to provide solution to the contemporary challenges in the public sector has elicited the advent of sophisticated technological response that provides a placid environment for digitalizing public administration across the world. The development of ICTs therefore brings transformation in the way and manner of governing the citizens in Africa and the global community. The transition from governance to e-governance has been considered as a veritable instrument in ensuring transparency, accountability and effective service delivery in the public sector. The potency of ICTs as a supporting tool in curbing the pervasiveness of institutional corruption in Africa is acknowledged. Globally, Nigeria is recognized as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, corruption has been a major problem setting-back the advancement of the country. In taming the obnoxious trend, the recent public sector reform championed by the Nigerian government aimed at providing sanctity in the management and utilization of public resources with the application of ICTs geared toward combating corruption has gained momentum. These institutional reforms provide a platform for e-governance in managing public resources for the benefit of the citizenry. Therefore, this chapter provides a critical examination of e-governance model employed in tackling corruption in Nigerian public sector.

Keywords

  • corruption
  • anti-corruption
  • e-governance
  • transparency
  • Africa
  • Nigeria

1. Introduction

Technological advancements have been credited for playing a significant role in the globalization of trade, communication, economics, politics, culture and life styles. Thus, modern communication technologies or information and communications technologies (ICTs) have been ascribed to not only improving efficiency or productivity in the business world but also with improving the standard of living for the global citizens. One of the strategies is the application of e-governance which entails the use of Information and communication technologies (ICTs) in managing governmental business in the region. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) were the stimuli behind the economic, political and social revolution since the invention of the digital computer (mid-1940s), which were accelerated with the advent of the Internet (the early 90s). Currently, the work of public institutions depends increasingly more on the technical and architectural choices that are made at the level of technology. Most of the principles of good governance are expressed in the roles of e-government; in other words, focus on transparency, openness, citizen participation, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and the likes [1]. The implementation of e-governance to carry out public services has become a global drive in public administration. It is aimed to develop a robust environment for efficiency in managing public affairs. Since 1960s through 1970s, as information technology emerged, it has been envisaged that the use of modern technology would bring revolution to the way and manner of running governmental businesses. As information communication continues to dominate the space of all organizations especially in the 1980s and 1990s, the political office holders’ arrogated recognition for the implementation of information communication technologies (ICTs). Toward the beginning of twenty-first century, the application and the use of ICTs became more popular among the citizens and public officials [2].

In the management of public affairs, corruption has been recognized as one of the dominant problems in promoting economic growth and the welfare of the citizens [3]. Corruption has been acknowledged as a fundamental challenge to good governance and development, habitually embedded in the Global South. Although, it is not only restricted to the region, nonetheless, chronic poverty, conflict and discrimination embedded in developing states are accredited to be responsible for promoting corruption [4]. To combat the increasing level of corruption in developing nations, there are sundry measures put in place to checkmate the syndrome in the public sector. One of such approaches is the e-platform which provides a modern approach to promote anti-corruption agenda, resulting in accountability and transparency in the overall management of public affairs [1]. Thus, e-governance should be considered as a digital mechanism for mitigating corrupt practices in the public sector. Accessible public information for all citizenry can bring about transparency, which limiting public official to demand or accept bribe. One of the major approaches in reducing corruption in the public sector is to limit interaction between the citizens and public officials. This can ensure not only providing accessible information regarding government activities but removing the bureaucratic bottleneck inherent in public administration. Even though e-governance is not the first and last method to be employed for anti-corruption campaign in the public sector, it is being practiced very efficiently in the developed countries and in a few developing countries as well. In general, both developed and developing countries have succeeded much in implementing e-governance, although with relatively uneven attainments. Their efforts to apply the tools and strategies of e-governance have been visible since the last couple of decades. There are countries especially in Asia which have effectively utilized e-governance in reducing corrupt practices and promote good governance. These include The Republic of Korea, Singapore, Japan, Israel, Bahrain, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka [5]. There are other countries in developing nations that have embarked on such a giant stride to fight corruption, albeit they have lagged behind in the effective implementation of e-governance. International organizations such as Transparency International (TI), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank (WB) among others have reinvigorated the need to implement modern technology against the traditional approach in managing government activities [4]. Therefore, this chapter aims to provide the nexus between e-governance and anti-corruption strategies in Africa by exploring the application of e-governance in Nigerian anti-corruption campaign.

2. Transition from governance to e-governance

The traditional concept of governance emerged from the Greek language (κυβερνᾶν), which connotes “to steer”. The concept transcends a mere existence of government. In all societies, people employ governance in their daily lives to manage human relationship, interaction and activities. In this context, the use of governance can be metaphorically referred to steering of a ship. Actually, steering of a ship requires navigation toward a particular direction, and this necessitates an existence of seamanship who is saddled with the responsibility of navigating the ship toward certain destination. Thus, governance as a process requires steering of people toward development [6]. Moreover, governance is the capacity of the government to steer society [7]. Nonetheless, to avoid absolutism and self-steering capacity of the appointed/elected leaders, the modern perspective of governance requires peoples’ participation in decision making process. The conceptualization of governance in a modern expression stipulates citizens’ involvement in public decision making. This makes governance a participatory task by both the ruler and the ruled. The participation of every citizen in allocating and managing public resources defines the modern approach of governance across the globe. According to World Bank, governance implies the management of social, political and economic affairs for sustainable development. The World Bank acknowledged three fundamental elements of governance which include the nature of political regime; the strength and ability of the governments to effectively formulate, implement and discharge responsibilities; and the way and manner the regime in power manage the social and economic resources for development [8]. Therefore, governance entails institutional environment in which individual citizen and the political actors interact and participate in the public decision making. It requires the management of public affairs in a transparent, inclusive, participatory, responsive and accountable manners. Allocating resources and judicious use of these resources for development purpose becomes sacrosanct [9]. Hence, it can be argued that governance articulates and accommodates both the formal and informal actors in public decision making. This is to facilitate equal participation in a more inclusive, transparent and accountable management of public resources guided by the rule of law.

In line with the above, the digital revolution which provides transformation in all human societies delineates the concept of governance from primordial model to a modern perspective which indulges the application of information communication technologies (ICTs) in public decision making. e-Governance as a concept emerged at the inception of 21st century in the management of public sector. There is a paradigm shift from traditionalism to modernism in public administration. The emergence of e-governance therefore radicalized the nature of doing governmental businesses around the world. This opportunity paves way for a new path in conducting and managing public affairs, and this introduced e-services in public sector. Thus, e-governance has been acknowledged as capable of increasing the impact of government on the people [2]. e-Governance implies political and civil operation of government using information and communication technologies (ICTs) by which both the government and citizens interact. It is a strategy employed by the government through the use of ICTs with the aimed of encouraging citizens to participate in governance and make the government more transparent and accountable to the general citizenry [10]. e-Governance entails the use of web-based internet application to interact with citizens, employees, other government agencies, associate or business partners. It encourages participation of every citizen in the government business through technological platform [11]. It has been further argued that “the application of information communication technology (ICT) by the government to enhance accountability, create awareness and ensures transparency in the management of governmental business”. It further explained that e-governance can be recognized as a political tool employed by government to promote public oriented services [12]. Therefore, it can be acknowledged from the above view that e-governance appears to be a paradigm shift from traditional model of carrying out governmental businesses which emphasizes compliance with the hierarchical chain of command to the application of internet that allowed the citizens to source for information on government services at their own convenience time which does not necessarily need physical presence in government offices. The primary focus of e-governance is to ensure that citizens have access to government services without direct contact with the public official. The service often delivered through government internet platform. It is believed that the use of internet will reduce the negative impression toward public officials that have been denounced as corrupt. The government websites provide a landscape for the citizens to interact with the government and receive feedback regarding the services provided by the government. In this context, e-governance has the potential to minimize corrupt practices in government establishment [13]. Thus, it can be argued that the major single focus of every e-governance project is to reduce corruption in the management of public affairs across the world.

Many governments around the world have chosen the path of e-governance to manage all government departments and agencies (Figure 1). This requires all activities and services provided by the government to be available online such as income tax, customs, property tax and sales tax. The government services are delivered through online platform to the citizenry. e-Governance often necessitates the centralization of data to improve audit and analysis. The inability of the public official to follow online procedures in the conduct of government businesses usually leads to exposure of such act. The citizen complains can also be recounted through e-platform created by government which often requires feedback from the appropriate authority. This environment may facilitate successive strategy to expose corrupt civil servants within the government agencies [11].

Figure 1.

Definition of e-governance. Source: Misuraca [6].

3. e-Governance in Africa

In the world over, governments have supported the use of electronic means to provide cost effective services as well as improving the way and manner in which government businesses are carried out. As a result of global acceptance of this strategy, Africa has initiated policies, mechanism and programs toward ensuring effective implementation of e-governance in the region. e-Governance has been one of the key strategies to strengthening democratic governance and as an important instrument in achieving developmental agenda in Africa. The realization and implementation of e-governance has penetrated the social and political space in the region. This makes it possible for all the stakeholders to participate in governance processes. Moreover, the intra-governmental communication provided as a result of the implementation of e-governance makes it easier to reduce the cost of service and also provides wider reach to the general citizens [14]. Among the several strategies for the actualization of e-governance is the creation of websites, linking the citizens with the numerous services provided by the government – Federal, State and Local. The creation of websites therefore becomes interactive space where the citizens and the government can share their views regarding the activities of government while receiving feedbacks on the same platform. Some of the services available to the citizens range from birth certificate, identity card, voter’s registration, payment of tenement rate, taxes and levies etc. One of the countries that showcased e-governance capacity in the management of public is South Africa government. The web provides detail information about the government’s services. The South African government offers services within the following spectrum: services for the citizens; services for organization; and services for foreign nationals. The services to the citizens revolves around information concerning youth, education and training, retirement and old age, birth, social benefits, relationship, living with disability, parenting, death, citizenship, sports and recreation, law, transport among others. Services implying organizations include import and export, health and safety, labor related issues, business tax, transport, health and safety at work place, intellectual property among others. Information related to foreign national include immigration and working in South Africa. Similar features are also found in Kenya where the issues related to e-civil service, e-business, e-citizenship, e-education, e-taxes and revenue among several other categories [15]. A comparable features are found in Nigeria where activities such as tourism, drug administration, company registration, immigration, tax, investment, driver’s license, education, health, housing projects, corruption reporting, national identity management are embedded in government portal. Thus, it can be deduced that e-governance has facilitates citizen’s participation as well as reducing cumbersome nature of traditional mode of governance in Africa. The table and figures below reveals the population of internet users and the level of penetration as compared to the rest of the world.

4. Data interpretation and discussion

From the above, Figure 2 reveals that Asia region constitutes 50.4% of the world internet users, it further shows that Europe has 16.5%. The data also found that Africa has 10.9%, Latin America and Caribbean 10.1%, North America 7.5%, Middle East 3.9% while Oceania and Australia constitutes 0.7%. In this context, Asia has the largest number of internet users across the world, followed by Europe. The implication of this as related to e-governance is that the more accessible internet is, the more the people interact with the government on electronic platforms. In Figure 3, the data shows internet world penetration rates by geographic regions. The data found that North America 89.1% which constitutes the highest level of penetration globally. This is followed by Europe which has 86.6%. Australia and Oceania has 68.0% while Latin America and Caribbean has 66.8%. The Middle East constitutes 65.8% while the world average is equated to 56.3%. Asia has 51.7% while Africa has 35.9% which is considered as the lowest rate when compared with other regions.

Figure 2.

Internet users in the world by region as at March 2019.

Figure 3.

Internet world penetration rates by geographic regions as at March 2019.

Table 1 shows the Internet Users Statistics for Africa as at March 2019. The table revealed all the countries in Africa with the divergence population, number of internet users, level of penetration and internet growth. In Figure 4, the data reveals internet users in Africa as at March 2019. It shows that Africa has 10.9% while the rest of the world constitutes 89.1%. In Figure 5, it shows the level of penetration rate in Africa compared to the rest of the world as at March 2019. The data reveals that Africa has 35.9% while world average constitutes 56.1%. The data further shows that 60.2% constitutes the rest of the world. This indicates that, there is a need to reduce the cost of access to digital technology in order to make it affordable for the wider segment of the population. In all, it is acknowledged that Africa has lagged behind in the implementation of digital technology, as indicates in the above data, many African nations have not fully implemented e-governance in managing public affairs. Even though some of these African nations have continually promote the use of ICTs in major government activities, it is believed that the affordability of digital technology will encourage the citizens to employ these platforms to interact more with the government especially regarding governance and anti-corruption campaign.

AfricaPopulation (2019 Est.)Internet users 31-Dec-2000Internet users 31-Mar-2019Penetration (% population)Internet growth % 2000–2019
Algeria42,679,01850,00021,000,00049.241,900
Angola31,787,56630,0007,078,06722.323.493
Benin11,801,59515,0003,801,75832.225.245
Botswana2,374,63615,000923,52838.96057
Burkina Faso20,321,56010,0003,704,26518.236,942
Burundi11, 575,9643000617,1165.320,470
Cabo Verde560,3498000265,97247.53225
Cameroon25,312,99320,0006,128,42224.230,542
Central African Rep4,825,7111500256,4325.316,995
Chad15,814,3451000768,2744.976,727
Comoros850,9101500130,57815.38605
Congo5,542,197500650,00011.7129,900
Congo Dem Rep86,727,5735005,137,2715.91,027,354
Cote d’Ivoire25,531,08340,0006,318,35525.616.246
Djibouti985,6901400180,00018.312,757
Egypt101,168,745450,00049,231,49348.710,840
Equatorial Guinea1,360,104500312,70423.062,441
Eritrea5,309,659500071,0001.31320
Ethiopia110,135,63610,00016,437,81114.9164,270
Gabon2,109,09915,000985,49246.76470
Gambia2,228,0754000392,27717.69707
Ghana30,096,97030,00010,110,000133.633,600
Guinea13,398,18080001,602,48512.019,931
Guinea-Bissau1,953,7231500120,0006.17900
Kenya52,214,791200,00043,329,43483.021,564
Lesotho2,292,6824000627,86027.415,596
Liberia4,977,7205004,028,41880.9805,583
Libya6,569,86410,0003,800,00057.837,900
Madagascar26,969,64230,0001,900,0007.06233
Malawi19,718,74315,0001,828,5039.312,090
Mali19,689,14018,80012,480,17663.466,283
Mauritania4,661,1495000810,00017.416,100
Mauritius1,271,36887,000803,89663.2824
Mayotte (FR)266,380N/A107,94040.5N/A
Morocco36,635,156100,00022,567,15461.622,467
Mozambique31,408,82330,0005,279,13516.817,497
Namibia2,641,99630,000797,02730.22557
Niger23,176,6915000951,5484.118,931
Nigeria200,962,417200,000111,632,51655.555,716
Reunion (ER)889,918130,000480,00053.9269
Rwanda12,794,41250003,724,67829.174,393
Saint Helena (UK)4096N/A220053.7N/A
Sao Tome & Principe213,379650057,87527.1790
Senegal16,743,85940,0009,749,52758.224,274
Seychelles95,702600067,11970.11018
Sierra Leone7,883,1235000902,46211.417,949
Somalia15,636,1712001,200,0007.7599,900
South Africa58,065,0972,400,00031,185,63453.71199
South Sudan13,263,184N/A2,229,96316.8N/A
Sudan42,514,09430,00011,816,57027.839,288
Swaziland1,415,41410,000446,05131.54360
Tanzania60,913,557115,00023,000,00037.819,900
Togo8,186,384100,000899,95611.0800
Tunisia11,783,168100,0007,898,53467.07798
Uganda45,711,87440,00019,000,00041.647,400
Western Sahara582,478N/A28,0004.8N/A
Zambia18,137,36920,0007,248,77340.036,144
Zimbabwe17,297,49550,0006,796,31439.313,492
Total Africa1320,038,7164,514,400474,120,56335.910,402
Rest of World6,433,444,49383.03,872,441,29060.289.1
World Total7,753,483,209100%4,346,561,85356.1100.0

Table 1.

Internet users statistics for Africa as at March 2019.

Source: The data was adapted from Internet World Stats. Available athttps://www.internetworldstats.com/stats1.htm

Figure 4.

Internet users in Africa as at March 2019.

Figure 5.

Penetration rate in Africa as compared to the rest of the world as at March 2019.

5. Corruption in Nigerian public sector

Corruption is the abuse of public office for personal gain. Corruption may occur at any levels of government – local, state and national. It can also manifest at the legislative, executive and judicial arms of governments. By and large, corruption exists in every sphere of life, be it public or private establishments. Irrespective of where it occurs, it tends to have a mammoth impact in the general lives of the citizenry especially on the provision of the basic services [16]. Before the introduction of e-governance system, a vast number Nigerian public employees at the local, state and federal levels acknowledged to be terrifically corrupt. The employees in the public sector are recognized to be smart in inflating government contracts and procurements; the system was moribund with ghost worker syndrome in which the names of non-existing public officials were used to pay fraudulent salaries. The committers of such offense initiated a system that bypass banking measure in the payment of salary. In such an environment, they pay public personnel by cash through their ministries cashiers. A huge amount of funds was diverted to the pocket of perpetrators through this channel. Several regimes have contended with this challenge through the inauguration of special staff audit committees, the committee introduced “Table Payment” which requires physical presence of staff. However, this measure was unable to rule out the corrupt elements in the public sector [13]. Consequently, the diversion of government revenue and foreign aid into the individual personal purse within the public sector has contributed to the deprivation of some basic social services. It has been estimated that approximately 400 billion was stolen from Nigerian public treasury from 1960 to 1999, between 2005 and 2004, the sum of $182 billion was diverted from the public accounts via illegitimate financial flows. The stolen common wealth meant for educational development, health sector and general infrastructural development was diverted by public office holders for personal aggrandizement [17]. The culture of corruption entrenched in Nigerian public sector has a great impact in the life of the citizens. Its effect on infrastructural development has been acknowledged and its corollary has being experienced by the citizens in their daily engagement (Figure 6).

Figure 6.

How e-Governance can prevent corruption. Source: Iqbal and Seo [10].

In Figures 7 and 8, these platforms showcase the electronic model designed to mitigate corruption in Nigeria. On these platforms, several activities are embedded, ranging from corruption reporting, whistleblower channel, number of people prosecuted for corruption, complaint and observation of the citizens against the mandate of anti-corruption institutions, petition among other related activities. These platforms have encouraged the citizens to report several cases of corruption which the anti-corruption institutions have investigated in recent time. Without physical presence of the citizens, corrupt practices can be reported on the website of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This effort has yielded an expected outcome following the adoption of e-governance in combatting corruption in Nigerian domain. Therefore, anti-corruption war is considered as government and citizens’ struggle, it is believed that if government co-opted the citizens in fighting corruption, corruption will be mitigated to a barest minimum level in the country.

Figure 7.

Independent corrupt practices and other related offenses commission.

Figure 8.

Economic and financial crimes commission.

6. e-Governance as a potent weapon for anti-corruption war in Nigeria

The nexus between e-governance and anti-corruption war has been globally pronounced by a number of scholars [12, 18, 19, 20, 21]. Information communication technology is considered as a fundamental instrument that can be employed to tame the ugly trend of corruption. ICT is capable of mitigating corruption by promoting good governance, monitoring the activities of government and the governed. The use of electronic measure in the daily governmental business has a great impact in the fight against corruption among other measures put in place by the government in many developing nations of the world [1]. Several efforts have been put forward to prevent corruption by different regimes. The creation of Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Code of Conduct Bureau among others. Despite the creation of different institutions to checkmate the spreading wave of corruption in both the public and private sector in the country, it appears that these measures were not absolutely capable of reducing corrupt practices in Nigerian society. The ineptitude of the above-mentioned measures triggered the development of e-governance scheme which was strengthened to foster transparency in the conduct of public affairs. The implementation of e-governance approach was made possible with the adoption of Information Communication technologies (ICTs) revolution. The implementation process was initiated as a pilot scheme initiated in some ministries and federal parastatals. Following this event, other levels of governments began to adopt this policy to tackle the high level of corruption in the country. The adoption of this policy aimed at block the manifold sources by which public officials employed in siphoning public funds such as double payment of contracts and ghost workers. A huge amount of public funds has been saved by the three tiers of government due to implementation of e-governance project. The philosophy behind this policy is to reduce corruption and increase the level of transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors [22]. It is a by-product of ICT, which is an efficient and effective strategy to tackle corruption idiosyncrasy. Even though e-governance is not the first and last method to curb corruption in the public sector, it is being practiced very efficiently in the developed countries and in a few developing countries as well. In general, developing countries have succeeded much in implementing e-governance. Their efforts to apply the tools and strategies have been discernible since the last couple of decades [4]. The services delivered through electronic means such as tax payment, rate, license are capable of mitigating human error and corruption in the public arena. In an environment where public administration is digitalized, physical contact which has the potential of promoting corrupt practices is mitigated. e-Governance serves the purpose of bringing transparency, accountability and openness to the public service [3]. Nigeria has embarked on numerous strategies in reducing corruption especially through e-governance within the public sector. The public sector reform includes Treasury Single Account (TSA), Biometric Time and Attendance, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Prepaid Meter. Other initiatives include e-passport, online registration of Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) by candidates, introduction of computer based examination to reduce exam malpractice, the use of card reader during election, e-reporting of human rights abuse, monthly publishing of local and state governments allocation by the ministry of finance which allows citizens to be aware of how the government use their public resources [22]. According to Davies and Fumega, there are eight kinds of ICT mechanism that can be used to prevent corruption, these include the following:

  1. Online services: Platforms offer public self-services that citizens can explore

  2. Transparency portals: These platforms provide periodic government publication of important documents which are accessible to the citizens online;

  3. Open data portals: These platforms offer free access to data sets in machine-readable formats.

  4. Crowd sourced reporting: This entails the citizens to report grievances regarding the activities of government;

  5. Online corruption reporting: The platforms that provide opportunity for citizens to report cases;

  6. Online right-to-information requests: platforms that allow citizens to file right-to-information requests.

  7. Issue reporting: platforms that allow citizens to report problems with public services

  8. Service automation: platforms that replace discretionary decision-making by public officials with auditable software processes [23].

In Nigeria, there are policies implemented by the government to curb corruption in the public domain, some of these policies are discussed below:

7. Treasury single accounts (TSA)

The TSA policy was initiated as part of Economic Reform and Governance program in 2004 by the Federal government in Nigeria. TSA is an integrated national bank account in which all the federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) remit daily government revenue. The implementation of this policy by the national government aimed to block all leakages in Nigerian revenue generating agencies as well as to guarantee judicious use of government resources for the benefit of the citizens. The TSA is one of the components of public financial management (PFM) reforms which was under the third pillar of National Strategy for public service reforms geared toward achieving vision 20:20:20 aimed to address the challenge of ineffective and inefficient cash management in the country. The implementation of this policy necessitates adoption of e-payment system for every single financial transaction, and it came into full force in January 2009. The adoption of this policy aimed at ensuring efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, openness and accountability in the management of the country’s financial resources. Although, before the implementation of TSA, the country was moribund with challenge of monitoring all government accounts by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AOGF). The TSA was guided by three fundamental principles: the unification and synchronization of government treasury accounts; only the chief financial agents of the government are saddled with the oversight responsibility in managing cash resources of the government; and there should be comprehensive coverage of both the budgetary and extra-budgetary as well as consolidation government’s cash resources [24].

8. Cashless policy

In 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) inaugurated the implementation of cashless policy, projected to eliminate the physical cash flow in the national economy so as to promote e-transaction. The policy was first implemented in Lagos in January 2012. The policy is aimed to reduce the primary cost of banking services; promote modernization and development of Nigeria’s payment system in accordance with vision 20:20 goal to be among the top 20 economies by the year 20:20; reducing high cash usage outside the formal sector and therefore provide opportunity for effective management of inflation to promote economic growth; reducing the risk of high handling of cash which encourages robberies and related crimes; and to mitigate systemic leakage that promote corruption. The fundamental objective of this policy is to encourage cashless economy. The cashless economy inculcates the promotion of payment without the involvement of physical cash. It does not totally exclude the use of physical cash from the economy but an economy where the use of cash is reduced to a bearable minimum level. In such a cashless environment, electronic based payments dominate the economy with the use of credit cards or mobile or bank transfer. Some of the components of cashless policy may incorporate e-exchange, e-money, e-brokering, e-finance among others. The primary measures for the cashless policy in Nigeria imply:

  1. Daily cumulative cash limit: N500, 000 and N3 million on free cash withdrawals and lodgments by individual and corporate customers respectively. These are upward reviews from the daily cumulative limits of N150, 000 and N1 million set in January, 2012.

  2. Processing fees for withdrawals above limit: 3% for individual and 5% for corporate. These are downward reviews from the respective 10% and 20% fees set in January, 2012.

  3. Processing fees for lodgments above limit: 2% for individual and 3% for corporate. These are downward reviews from the respective 10% and 20% fees set in January, 2012.

  4. Exemptions from processing fees: this applies to accounts operated by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal and state governments, solely for the purpose of revenue collections. Exemptions also extended to embassies, diplomatic missions and multi-lateral and aid-donor agencies, as well as micro finance banks.

The major goal of this policy is to ensure that the larger percentage of Nigerian populace utilizes electronic platform in their daily transaction. Several measures put in place to accomplish the cashless policy include the following methods:

  1. Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATM can be used for the payment of bill, deposit cash, funds transfer, recharge airtime for mobile phone

  2. Internet banking: This can be employed to make instant balance enquiry, funds transfer, payment of application fees and utility bills. Some of the banks require the customers to use token in order to guarantee security and safeguard the account against fraudsters.

  3. Point-of-Sale (POS) Terminals: This can be used to make payment of any transaction made by the customers.

  4. Electronic Transfer: This can be employed to transfer funds electronically from the customer’s account to other sources or destinations [25].

9. The government integrated financial management information system (GIFMIS)

This is an integral component of the ERGP initiative targeted toward tackling corruption through information technology. It was implemented to provide support to public resource management by employing integrated and automated mechanism to ensure effective and efficient economic system. The implementation of this policy is aimed to enhance transparency, accountability and cost effective public service delivery. The primary objective of the GIFMIS is to key into computerized financial information system for the federal government to increase:

  1. Federal government capacity to effectively control and monitor the general expenditure and receipts of MDAs

  2. The capability to understand the general costs of collections of activities

  3. The ability to exhibit transparency and accountability to the public and partners

  4. The ability to access information on government’s economic performance and cash flow

  5. Medium term planning through a medium term expenditure framework (MTEF).

  6. Internal controls to identify and prevent possible fraudulent actions

  7. The access to information on financial operation

Ultimately, the focus of the GIFMIS is to support and improve the federal government public financial management performance. The financial management obligations constitutes the overall financial management cycle of government which includes budget preparation, budget execution and financial reporting. GIFMIS aimed to be used in all areas of government budget preparation, execution and general management of financial resources. Additionally, GIFMIS enables effective revenue collection through integrated system of revenue collection especially in some agencies like Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Customs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and providing effective revenue remittance and transfer to the TSA [24].

10. Conclusion

This chapter has examined e-governance as an effective mechanism in tackling corruption in Nigeria. Although, there have been several efforts by the past political regimes in fighting corruption in the public sector, it appears that some of the efforts put in place were able to yield minimal outcomes. The recent initiative regarding application of information communication technologies (ICTs) in the general management of public affairs has been considered as effective mechanism to complement the effort in curbing corrupt practices in the public sector. This chapter demonstrates that e-governance as a modern technological tool is capable of reducing high level of corruption in the public sector in the country. The current initiative to reduce the level of corruption in Nigeria necessitates the implementation of e-governance strategy which revolves around the Treasury Single Account (TSA), internet banking, limitation in cash withdrawal, the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, cashless policy among others. These numerous strategies have been utilized to minimize corrupt practices in Nigeria. Some of these strategies have provided opportunity to prevent ghost workers from continuous existence in Nigerian public sector. Although, the adoption of these measures has been producing positive outcomes, however, there are numerous challenges affecting the effective functioning of e-governance especially among the citizens. These challenges range from social arena where there is low literacy level, poor basic education, lack of access to internet by rural populace, lack of feedback, low level of technological adaptation, different languages, shortage of skills, poor IT literacy as well as political aspects that revolves around lack of cyber laws, poor reform agenda, low budget allocation among others. To make the use of ICTs more effective in the public sector, the government needs to ensure training and retraining of its staff in handling ICTs for effective service delivery, provide affordable market for internet users, re-orientate the local community of its benefits and provide enabling environment for effective implementation of e-governance at the local, state and national levels.

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John Sunday Ojo (September 27th 2019). e-Governance and Anti-Corruption War in Africa: The Nigeria Experience [Online First], IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.87012. Available from:

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