The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, 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), in order to speed up the implementation of the ongoing digitalisation process.
She made this call at a service-wide “Webinar on Digitalisation”, organised by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), to sensitise Federal Civil Servants across the nation on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.
Dr. Yemi-Esan took the audience through the level of implementation of the digitalisation process in the OHCSF and the efforts of the government in fast-tracking implementation such as development and documentation (hard and soft copies) of Standard Operating Procedure System (SOPs) for all departments and units, firstly in the OHCSF and, subsequently for all Ministries, the establishment of scanning centre, 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 held, recently, upgrade of Local Area Network (LAN) by Galaxy Backbone across MDAs, National policy on virtual engagement approved by the President in 2020, which every Civil Servant must be conversant with, amongst others. She called on MDAs to take a cue from the OHCSF.
While fielding question on the sustainability of this reform initiative, Dr. Yemi-Esan said that the implementation of the digitalisation process has been decentralized so as to be driven by the Permanent Secretaries in their respective MDAs. She 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 disclosed further that, the OHCSF has done a lot in training of Officers from various MDAs. It is, therefore, important, she reiterated, 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. “No one must be left out in the digitalisation process,” she added.
Prompting Civil Servants not to rest on their oars in ensuring the emergence of a dynamic and world-class Civil Service, HoSF also encouraged them to continue to be creative by exploring and making the best of the opportunities that they have while placing very high premium and pride 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, 2022, where over two Hundred (200) participants were in attendance physically, as well as virtually. This, according to him, was a pointer that the digitalisation ideology 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 the questions, the HoSF 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.
M. A. Ahmed,
Deputy Director, Communications.