Monday, 13 March 2017

NOW NIGERIANS CAN TALK TO THEIR GOVERNMENT FROM AN APP

Sometimes going to a government office in the middle of the day can be a bit of a cumbersome process. If you are in Lagos, the sun has probably reached its peak and buildings have become uncomfortably warm as you join the queue of people also seeking some service. However, having to physically visit a government office, in Lagos, may soon become a thing of the past. A mobile app known as “Citizens Gate”has been launched in Lagos by the state government that will allow citizens to access public services from their mobile phones.



The aim of the Citizens Gate app is to expedite the provision of services and promote communication between citizens and the government from the comfort of their phones. The app is said to have 6 segments: file a feedback, LASRRA registration, department and agencies, online payment for state services, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and Local Governments (source: olisa). At the top right corner of the app, users can login into their accounts. The section, “file a feedback”, allows users to both register and give feedback.
The advantages of the development of this app is not only felt by citizens, but it also helps the government as well. Firstly, the app is able to collect data that is vital to state operations: as users register to use the app, it also helps to build the state’s database and makes planning a bit more efficient and more and more Nigerian residents download and use the app.

This is quite a novel idea in the context of West Africa. It is commendable in that it should hopefully aid in bridging the power gap between the Nigerian government and Nigeria’s people, especially in a time when this gap seems to be increasing. The app is also easy to use and will make it possible for citizens to express their needs and opinions in real time. This will make it easier to manage majority problems.

The app is only in its earlier stages however and there is still some room for improvement. For example, navigation on the app is currently not at its optimum. The inclusion of navigation keys would make this a bit better. Also, it would be convenient if registering was made separate from the “file a feedback” section and  a “register” button was was on the main page of the app, new users would be able to register without difficulty. As the app undergoes improvements, we are hopeful for its future. This innovative app could really change up the game in Nigeria.

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