Thursday, 27 November 2014

‘Switch to’ Initiative for Federal Civil Service unveiled...

The Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson has presented the ‘Switch to' initiative to the Head of Service, Federal Civil Service, Mr. Danladi Kifasi and the directorate staff, aimed at fostering the adoption and penetration of the unified email platform for staff of the Federal Civil Service of Nigeria.
Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson 
The 'Switch to' is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology. Johnson, while speaking on the initiative, said it  was  a simple but very important tool for the take-off of the official electronic communication platform in the Federal Civil Service of the federation.

The minister charged civil servants to make effective use of the unified email and messaging and collaboration platform of the federal government. According to her, there is need for all government officials to have unified e-mail addresses and also personal e-mail accounts that end with She stressed that collectively adopting the messaging and collaboration platform is an important pillar of the ministry’s e-government strategy.

“The platform will improve the speed and efficiency of official communications and provide the means for civil servants to share, store and gain access to official documents anytime, anywhere and on any computer or mobile device. Other features of the platform include the ability to send confidential (encrypted) email, schedule meetings on line, assign and track staff and colleagues on official tasks and assignments, send circulars service-wide at the touch of a button amongst others,” she said.

Johnson  disclosed that the ministry, with the strong support of the Council of ICT Heads, embarked on an initiative that would not only standardise the look and feel of federal government websites, but also migrate all ministry websites to the domain name. “The migration of websites to the platform and the unified email platform not only enables the delivery of government business over a more secure and robust technology platform, it also enhances Nigeria’s national cyber identity on the internet and improves confidence in citizens, businesses and foreigners as they seek government information and services online,” she added.

Describing the event as a significant milestone, Johnson reiterated that the initiative would enhance internal productivity and quality service delivery to all citizens. She disclosed that 42,000 email accounts have been created for all officers on GL10 to 17 in the Federal Civil Service,  adding  that as the infrastructure and the capacity of the platform is expanded, email accounts for federal civil servants on GL09 and below would be created. The minister disclosed that the platform can be accessed through the,   a simple and  easy to navigate portal to enable users activate their email accounts.

The portal, according to Johnson, would eventually serve as the central information portal or Intranet for government, offering authorised and secure access to online services documents and resources. She added that  a standard naming convention has been adopted in the creation of email accounts for all civil servants It is available on mobile devices such as BB, Android and Windows phones and tablets. The unified platform will promote the country code Top Level Domain ccTLD (.ng) which is the Nigeria unique identity on the cyberspace just as (.uk), (.fr), (.za), (.gh), (.ke), among others.

It will also further improve Nigeria image and ratings on the UN e-Governance Development Index (EGDI).
The unified email platform, as with all ministry websites is hosted on the secure and robust Galaxy Backbone infrastructure. Galaxy Backbone is one of the agencies under the supervision of the ministry.


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