On Governance – To Automate or Not To Automate?
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The government of Nigeria lost money monthly in taxes to illegal collection agencies. These monies they lose are because of the absence of proper tax documents by small businesses that run in obscure or distant areas of the states they are in. The Nigerian government set up the CAC, Corporate Affairs Commission, to help with the registration and documentation of businesses in Nigeria; from business names to companies limited by liability and guarantee.
Over the year in its operations, the CAC had run with basic manual paperwork. Visits to their offices, filing paperwork, waiting for a period of time and then going back to collect documents. This process could be as short as six weeks and extent to eight months and is also slowed down with transportation costs, distance to the CAC offices as well as the tendencies of public officers to request for and collect bribes.
The government can stop losing out on important tax Naira by automating the process. Other countries like Rwanda have moved to an online only system and have been able to reduce the wait time while cutting down on inefficiency and monies lost to bribes.
The future of taxation and government involves transparency and the government opening up its doors to the public. When automation to improve the quality of services comes into play, there will be better private sector inclusion, which will provide the money and more especially the data needed by the government for better planning.
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