Nairametrics| The Lagos State Government is arguably the most responsive state government in Nigeria. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration recently launched the Citizens Gate – a website and app developed to encourage deeper interaction between the government and the state.
According to Olufemi Odubiyi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, “The platform is designed to promote communication and connectivity between citizens and government by enabling citizens to inform the government of problems and issues occurring in their communities.”
The website and app are essentially a platform where Lagosians can provide feedback and complaints to the state government, track their inputs, receive faster responses, find information on state departments and services, and pay for various government services.
This is not the first time that the Lagos State Government has employed technology in order to be closer to its citizens. Since Babatunde Raji Fashola’s administration, both Lagosians and the government have used Twitter and Facebook as a medium for interaction. Fashola had a Twitter handle he used a lot, an email address and a phone number. Ambode uses Twitter to announce new government policy and services quite frequently.
Twitter and Facebook are used primarily by the Governors to listen and talk to citizens, but with the website and app, the entire Lagos State Government will now be closer to Lagosians, not just the Governor. The move to a website and app dedicated to this purpose seems like a natural progression. It makes sense to make communication simple and streamlined. It means Lagosians now have a one-stop shop for all interaction with the state government.
It also means that the government has a major platform to address complaints and other issues. It also makes paying for government services a lot easier; and on the part of the government, revenue collection becomes easier as well. Therefore, in some ways, the government is saving on transaction costs.
On the contrary, the launch of the new website and app requires that the government has to go on a publicity drive to inform and educate Lagosians about it. Furthermore, Lagosians are most likely already inundated by numerous social media platforms and various apps on their phones and laptops; therefore they may be reluctant to embrace even more of these tech services. There is also the question of how effective the website and app would be. Let time be the judge on this.
Lagosians can access the site via https://citizensgate.lagosstate.gov.ng/#/ or download the app from the Apple App store or Google Play Store.