By Juliet Umeh
Despite the disturbances to the world economy, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also been confirmed that different sectors of the economy that quickly readjusted their operations, integrating technological solutions, did well.
At a recent Nigerian E-Government Summit in Lagos, different sectors of the economy gave an account of how technology helped them navigate the murky economic waters heralded by COVID-19.
Industry representatives in a panel section shared different stories about how they applied technology to solve problems as the effects of the pandemic were more difficult.
The event, with the theme: Covid-19: “Boost for the accelerated adoption of electronic government, had the participation of stakeholders from the technology, health, finance and transportation sectors, among others.”
They confessed that technological solutions can provide the necessary tonic for Nigeria’s economic change, the post-covid era.
LIR S- Electronic tax
For example, in a state like Lagos, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, said it generated N25 billion of electronic taxes in March during the covid-19 peak.
Sharing LIRS ‘experience, the agency’s chief information and communications technology, ICT, Rasheed Olu-Ajayi, said that e-tax is a business tax administration system that the agency uses to harmonize and digitize all its tax processes.
Olu-Ajayi said: “With the heat of Covid-19 in March, we were able to generate 25 billion naira for the state of Lagos when the companies, ministries, departments and agencies of lots, MDA were blocked.
“This was because there was a payment module within our electronic tax application, which meant that organizations, business entities that were in the comfort of their homes paid their taxes.
“What led to the e-tax emergency was that before now, we had cases where some individuals and businesses had duplicate taxpayer IDs, which meant that it was difficult for us to tell how many taxpayers we have in our tax network.
“We were able to leverage the bank verification number, BVN, to clean up all multi-payer identifications and automate all of our processes starting from enumeration, registration, tax payment, assessment, reconciliation, tax audit, Filling of annual statements, reports and analysis.
“So it meant that all those processes were at the touch of a button possible for each taxpayer or each entity of the company in the comfort of their zones,” said Olu-Ajayi.
He also pointed out that the filling of annual returns has been possible through the electronic tax platform.
He said: “About two years ago, there were about 1600 people within our office who were trying to file their tax returns to avoid the late fee on December 31st. But with e-tax, all of that has been reduced because we were able to successfully complete around 25,000 online businesses in the last annual returns we made, ”Olu-Ajayi commented.
In addition, Professor Ibrahim Mustapha of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, said that the hospital recognized that electronic health, electronic medicine, telemedicine and electronic medical records are very important in dealing with a healthy health service. for the people.
Mustapha said: “Interactions between patients and physicians used to be on paper and there are packets upon packets of case notes that one may find difficult to track when patients arrive. Then we realized that we needed to have electronic medical records.
“Beyond the interactions between patients and doctors, these days we are doing few surgeries, mainly due to the Internet backbone and the electronic backbone. We can have teleconferences, which is telemedicine ”.
VIS – Automated Registration
At his agency, the Director of the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service, VIS, Engr. Akin Fashola said that the sector is also leveraging ICT in many ways.
Fashola said: “With the automatic license plate system, a criminal receives a text message once he violates any law. But if you have doubts about what the infraction is, you can go to any of the offices and we will show you what you have done.