By Dwelleth Morountodun
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoS) Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan has called on Permanent Secretaries to prioritise training and re-training of civil servants in their different Ministries, extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs), on Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
This she said should be prioritised in order to speed up the implementation of the ongoing digitalisation process.
She made this call on Tuesday at a service-wide webinar on: ‘Digitalisation’, organised by the her Office in Abuja to sensitise civil servants across the nation
Yemi-Esan, took the audience through the level of implementation of the digitalisation process in the OHCSF and at the same time highlighting the efforts of the government in fast-tracking implementation such as development and documentation (hard and soft copies) of Standard Operating System (SOPs) for all departments and units.
She started the enlightenment firstly in the OHCSF and, subsequently for all ministries, the establishment of scanning center, which saw to the automation of both policy and personal files from 2010 till date, training of Officers from different MDAs, development of digitalisation roadmap via a service-wide roundtable on Enterprise Content Management.
The upgrade of Local Area Network (LAN) by Galaxy Backbone across MDAs, national policy on virtual engagement as approved by President Buhari in 2020, which every civil servant is expected to be conversant with.
She however called on MDAs to take a cue from the OHCSF.
While fielding question on the sustainability of this reform initiative, she said the implementation of the digitalisation process has been decentralized so as to be driven by the Permanent Secretaries in their respective MDAs.
The HoS, urged the Permanent Secretaries to ensure that digitalisation comes first in the order of priority in their budgeting, urging them to incorporate adequate training for all staff, as well as procurement of necessary tools to boost the process.
She also advised on alternative source of funding other than the annual budget, such as collaboration with private partners, which the OHCSF is already leveraging on for the successes recorded so far.
She acknowledged that the OHCSF has done a lot in training of officers from various MDAs as according to her it is therefore, important that those trained from the different MDAs, engage in training other staff within their individual MDAs and Permanent Secretaries to involve their ICT departments towards ensuring that every civil servant is computer savvy, adding: “No one must be left out in the digitalisation process.”
Prompting civil servants not to rest on their oars in ensuring the emergence of a dynamic and world-class civil service, she charged them on creativity by exploring and making the best of the opportunities that they have while placing very high premium on what they do.
The Director, ICT, OHCSF, Mr. Adeniyi Dada, took the audience through the outcome of the round table conference held on the 17th July, where over two hundred (200) participants were in attendance physically, as well as virtually.
This, according to him, was a pointer that the digitalisation wave was well accepted by various MDAs.
He disclosed that the communique arising from the event would be made available to all MDAs, soon.
Civil servants exhibited keen interest in the take-off of digitalisation within the Service. The attendance alone speaks volumes as the Office recorded about six hundred (600) Civil Servants who logged in, while about four hundred (400) participated live on the official Facebook page.
A number of commendations were made praising the Office and the HoSF for such innovation. While some of the questions asked bordered on the sustainability of the process by subsequent administrations, inadequate power supply, data security, uniformity of standards, revival of Peer Review department for compliance and monitoring of policy implementations, training of young officers on cyber security, amongst others.
Responding to questions, the HoS encouraged civil servants to go through the recorded webinar, which will be made available on the Office’s website and social media handles and feel free to direct more questions and comments via the same platform.
Signed: M. A. Ahmed, Deputy Director, Communications (HoS).