By Jethro Ibileke
Effective from February 1, 2022, Edo State government will switch over from analogue to e-governance, Governor Godwin Obaseki says on Tuesday.
Obaseki, gave the indication on Tuesday in Benin, at the swearing-in of 14 new permanent secretaries, which held at the Government House.
According to the Governor, switching to e-governance means that memos and mails on papers would be eliminated.
He said: “Effective February 1, 2022, I, the governor, would switch over to e-governance platform, which effectively means I will now approve memos and send mails to you via the e-platform.
“We have introduced the Edo State Civil/Public Service Transformation and Enhancement Programme (EdoSTEP), through which we are pursuing a deliberate programme to identify weak points in the civil service and strengthen them.
“That explains why we have had to bring people from outside to come in to help us strengthen the areas of weaknesses that we have seen in the civil and public service; we will continue to do so because we have seen that the civil service as it is today needs a lot of strengthening.
“So far, we are very glad with the accomplishments that we have made today in the EdoSTEP programme. Under this programme, we have found out that the number of vacancies in the civil service is quite enormous.
“First, we started with the hiring of 1,600 graduates into the service at the bottom level, but they don’t have the experience and skill to take us to where we want. We will now continue hiring from the top and also see how we can train the middle corps that we have in the civil service and give them the tools for effective delivery.”
Addressing the 14 newly-sworn-in permanent secretaries, Obaseki charged them on the delivery of efficient and quality services to Edo people, even as he admonished them not to seek popularity.
He said: “We are working extremely hard to bring back the civil and public service to those days when it was respected. To the new permanent secretaries, I will like to admonish you, you all have been appointed based on merit, not by any godfather.”
“Do not seek popularity; you are not politicians, leave that to us. Ensure you do things the way it ought to be done,” he charged.
Obaseki also warned the appointees to be weary of their conduct in service, noting that government officials are liable and culpable for their activities in service, even after retirement.
In his words, “You are the chief accounting officers of your ministries. The fact that you are in government for a while does not mean that your activities while in government will not be looked at; you have to be very cautious of the decisions you make.
“Most Nigerians don’t know that even after you retire, you are still liable and culpable for your activities during your time in office. I am pleased to inform you that you will be inheriting a vastly improved system of governance; we will continue to work on our systems so that you can deliver effectively to our people.
“We will continue to build human capacity, and train and retrain our civil and public servants. We are equipping and investing in the John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy to make it second to none in this part of the world.”
The newly sworn-in permanent secretaries are: Mr. Anelu Osemen, Mrs. Felicia Edwards, Mrs. Grace Aihie, Mr. Egwakhide Gilbert, Mr. Iserhienrhien Efe and Mr. Aikhuomobhogbe Uidia.
Others are Mr. Asibor Lucky, Mrs. Igbinobaro Joy, Mr. Washington Abbe, Mr. Asemota Uyi, Mr. Toritseju Onaiwu, Mrs. Ifueko Alufokhai, Mr. Osikhena Ojior and Mrs. Barbara Osobajo.
Mr. Anslem Osemen who responded on behalf of the new permanent secretaries, pledged to reciprocate the confidence reposed on them, contributing effectively to the progress and development of the state.