SystemSpecs MD, John Obaro, Canvasses for Digitization of Electoral System

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SWITZERLAND, JULY 15 – John Obaro, Managing Director of Nigerian tech giant, SystemSpecs has urged the government to work towards a system that digitises processes across various facets of life including our electoral system.

Obaro made this disclosure recently as he shared thoughts during a panel discussion on “Escalating Prevention and Leveraging Technology as a New Approach” at the 2-day Africa Regional Webinar on Combating Corruption and Illicit Financial Flows in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

“In the same manner in which Argentina went paperless in 2019, the Nigerian Government should work towards a system that digitises processes across various facets of life including our electoral system,” he said.

During the online event, the fintech expert enjoined government, regulators as well as other players in the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy to leverage technology to tackle the menace of corruption and illicit flow of funds.

He noted the damage corruption is inflicting on Nigeria and the need to put in place a system driven by technology to minimise human intervention, reduce the use of discretion in financial matters, encourage the adoption of an end-to-end digital system, fully embrace a cashless economy, and minimise the time to justice.

“It is indisputable that as a nation we must now, more than ever, know everyone and update their data as they progress through life. It is therefore time we took a critical look at our identity management system and converge all data that exit in various silos, for national good.”

He also emphasised the need to deploy and enforce clear budgeting processes and ensure procurement systems are automated. Obaro noted that the execution of smart contracts and clear tax laws can go a long way in minimising the use of discretion, especially in the management of public funds.

“At the earlier stage of TSA(Treasury Single Account) implementation, people presented receipts they had used before – a practice from the pre-TSA era. However, as a result of the checks put in place through technology, that old practice that let people defraud the system was put to an end.”

Obaro also said the country could take advantage of this current period to encourage individual and corporate citizens to minimise the use of cash and instead adopt the digital channels.

“It is time to truly go digital,” he said, identifying the need to adopt a workable system whereby e-payment would be the major avenue for transactions, promote financial inclusion and encourage a credit culture in which people would not need to amass resources before they can acquire the essential needs of life like housing and shelter.

The fintech leader congratulated the ICPC on its efforts in the twenty years of its existence and encouraged the commission to work with partner agencies and organisations to ensure that the wheel of corruption grounds to a halt in Nigeria.

SystemSpecs are the providers of Remita, the gateway technology for Nigeria’s Treasury Single Account (TSA)

Earlier this year, SystemSpecs launched Paylink, a web-based solution that helps Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as religious organisations, not-for-profit outfits, social media sellers, freelancers, individuals and many more to swiftly receive payments from everywhere, even abroad, this period and beyond.

Shortly after, the fintech innovation house entered into a strategic partnership with Paga, Nigeria’s foremost mobile money service providers and thereafter Cellulant, pan-African leader in fintech and agritech, with a view to deepening financial inclusion and extending the frontiers of electronic payments in the country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

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