Cross River State to expand its use of Smartgov platform
Senator Liyel Imoke, Governor of Cross River State, has announced that his government will continue to expand ways the Smartgov platform, the identity management and e-payment infrastructure for state governments first deployed in Cross River State, can be used to raise new revenues.
The announcement was made during the presentation of the 2014 budget to the state assembly.
Smartgov was developed by Interswitch and deployed in 2011 in partnership with the Cross River State Government (CRSG).
The move reflected CRSG’s determination to improve governance, accountability and access to social services for citizens, and Interswitch’s position as the leading provider of e-payment technologies in Nigeria.
The initiative was delivered through the joint venture company Smartgov.CRSG Limited.
By using Smartgov state governments are able to automate ministries, departments and agencies, identify all citizens and residents, track and monitor usage of social services, enhance internally generated revenue and automate disbursements and payments by government.
By doing so enabling the state government to grow revenue, eliminate wastage, simplify governance and increase access to government services.
The Smartgov project has enabled CRSG to create a state-wide Identity Management System for residents and corporate in the state (the first state in Sub-Saharan Africa) while biometric-based Identity Cards have also been issued, providing cardholders with access to healthcare, pension, transportation, educational bursaries, social amenities and social benefits.
Smartgov has facilitated the automation of key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) revenue sources and services and the reduction of government processing cost.
Jonah Adams, Managing Director, Smartgov.CRSG Limited, said: “We are extremely proud of our achievements to date in Cross River State and the renewed commitment from CRSG to extend the use of the Smartgov identity management and e-payment infrastructure to eliminate wastage and grow revenues.
“It is our mission to help state governments to offer their citizens a more efficient service and better value for money.”
Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Interswitch Transnational, said: “The success of Smartgov in Cross River State has given us even greater determination to roll out our solution across all state governments in Nigeria.
“By doing so we can give Nigerians everywhere a more effective and efficient service from government that utilises the latest world-class e-payment and identity management technologies.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.