The Federal Government has called on the Permanent Secretaries to give priority to the training and retraining of civil servants in their various ministries, extra-ministerial departments and agencies (MDAs), in the field of information and communication technology (ICT), in order to implement the ongoing digitization process.

The Federation Civil Service Chief, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, made an appeal during a service-wide “Webinar on Digitization”, organized by the Office of the Head of the Federation Civil Service (OHCSF), for federal officials across the country.

Yemi-Esan took the audience through the level of implementation of the digitization process in the OHCSF and the government’s efforts to accelerate implementation, such as the development and documentation (hard and soft copies) of Standard Operating System (SOPs) for all departments and units, first in the OHCSF and then for all ministries.

She also spoke about the establishment of a scan center, which ensured the automation of both policy and personal records from 2010 to date, training officers from several MDAs, and developing a digitization roadmap through a service-wide roundtable on Enterprise Content Management held recently. Upgrade Local Area Network (LAN) by Galaxy Backbone over MDAs, National Virtual Engagement Policy approved by the President in 2020, which every official should be familiar with, among other things. She called on MDAs to get a signal from the OHCSF.

Deputy Director of Communications, OHCSF, Mohammed Ahmed, said in a statement that, while raising questions about the sustainability of the reform initiative, the head of the service revealed that the implementation of the digitization process has been decentralized to be directed by the permanent secretaries in their respective MDAs.

She urged the Permanent Secretaries to ensure that digitization comes first in their budgeting in order of priority, and urged them to include adequate training for all staff, as well as the procurement of the necessary tools to stimulate the process.

She also advised on funding sources other than the annual budget, such as partnerships with private partners, which the OHCSF is already using for its successes to date.

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She further revealed that the OHCSF has done a lot in training officers from various MDAs. It is therefore important, she reiterated, that those trained by the various MDAs train other employees within their individual MDAs and permanent secretaries to involve their ICT departments in ensuring that every official is computer literate. “No one should be left out of the digitization process,” she added.

HoSF urged civil servants not to rest on their belts in ensuring the emergence of a dynamic and world-class civil service, and also encouraged them to stay creative by exploring and making the most of the opportunities they have, while providing a very high premium and proud of what they do.

The Director, ICT, OHCSF, Mr. Adeniyi Dada took the audience through the outcome of the round table conference held on July 17, 2022, where more than two hundred (200) participants attended physically and virtually.

This, he said, was an indication that the digitization ideology was well accepted by several MDAs. He announced that the communiqué resulting from the event will soon be available to all MDAs.

Civil servants showed great interest in the emergence of digitization within the Service. The turnout alone speaks volumes, as the Bureau registered about six hundred (600) officials logging in, while about four hundred (400) participated live on the official Facebook page.

A number of accolades were issued praising the Bureau and the HoSF for such innovation. While some of the questions posed bordered on the sustainability of the process by subsequent administrations, inadequate power supply, data security, uniformity of standards, revival of the Peer Review Department for compliance and monitoring of policy implementations, training of junior officers in cybersecurity, under more others.

In response to the questions, the HoSF encouraged officials to go through the recorded webinar, which will be made available on the Agency’s website and on social media. Feel free to ask more questions and comments through the same platform.

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