Having carefully read, page-by-page, Future Governance: The Internet Vulnerability, Social Change, and State-society Relationship in Nigeria (hereinafter referred to as Future Governance), I come to the unambiguous conclusion that this is a very educative, well-researched, and well-written book, which makes a fantastic reference material on the subject of governance and its many aspects. This is another terrific job well done by Okey Uzoechina, a brilliant mind, and a seasoned writer and educator, who never lets his readers down. The research done on this book is simply mind-blowing – the accuracy of facts, figures, and timelines is just tremendous. If I say I did not learn something new reading this book, then I must be Pinocchio, because, indeed, I learned many new things. For instance, before reading Future Governance, I never thought there was a difference between e-Government and e-Governance; I used both terms interchangeably. But now, I know better. In layman’s terms, e-Government refers to the use of ICT by the government to enhance the quality and reach of information and services to its citizens (G2C), while e-Governance refers to citizen’s participation in governance through ICT (C2G). Also, before reading this book, I used to wrongly assume that all cybercrimes – hacking, data breach and theft, leaking of confidential information online, etc – were always financially motivated; but I now know, thanks to Okey’s effort, that such crimes can also be motivated by other factors, such as intimidation or downright mischief.
Frankly speaking, Future Governance is a must-read for everybody. We all live in an age when the world has increasingly gravitated towards digital technologies, which have now become an indispensable part of our lives. From medical health to shopping, schooling, business, and politics, our lives have come to be so dependent on innovations in digital technology. Therefore, we must learn how we can keep pace with the dynamics in digital technology, which now impact the quality of human life, as well as how to be proactive and reactive regarding the dangers that come with such innovations. Especially should our lawmakers and policymakers, who govern the affairs of Nigerians, be very attentive to trends in digital technology and the laws that govern them, so that they can implement the right strategies that will ensure that government properly leverages these technologies to deliver quality services to the citizens effectively and efficiently, and also guarantee the safety of millions of Nigerians who use these technologies, in tune with global efforts to protect the billions on the internet. Therefore, Future Governance is a wakeup call for all of us; opening our eyes to the great benefits of advancements in ICT, especially concerning governance, but at the same time reminding us that we, as a country, have some way to go before we can properly optimize these technologies, which includes how to counter potential threats to our cyberspace.
I believe that Future Governance should be more than just good reference material for academic research; it should be read and digested by all, and the recommendations in it should also be steadfastly implemented at both micro and macro levels.
As always, Okey Uzoechina has produced another intellectual masterpiece, which further boosts his already huge reputation as a great thinker and intellectual.
Read Future Governance here.