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BRACED Commission Strategy Retreat: Edo Shines as First in Digitalization of the Public Service

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By Eghosa Emily

The Edo State Government has made significant strides in digitizing its public services, thereby setting a precedent for other states in the South-South region to emulate.

This was revealed by the Head of Service, Edo State, Dr.Anthony Okungbowa during the 3-day Braced Commission Strategy Retreat for Heads of Service in the BRACED (Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers, Edo and Delta) States which held recently at the John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) in Benin.

According to Dr. Okungbowa, the digital transformation project in Edo State has achieved remarkable success, with over 36,000 staff members integrated into the EdoGov ERP platform and over 125,000 transactions made on the platform since its inception.

He stated that the project has also established a Tier 3 Data Centre with a Disaster Recovery site outside the state, deployed over 2000km of fibre optics broadband infrastructure, and connected all 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state.

Dr. Okungbowa emphasized that the digitalization of public services offers a pathway to unlocking Nigeria’s vast potential and accelerating progress towards sustainable development goals.

He also highlighted the benefits of digitalization, including increased efficiency and productivity, transparency in governance, enhanced customer experience, reduction in the cost of governance, and improved decision-making with data-driven insights.

Dr Okungbowa added that the Edo State digital transformation project has become a model for other states in the region, demonstrating the potential of technology to transform governance.

He stressed that the BRACED Commission Strategy Retreat Programme aims to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing among Heads of Service in the South-South region, leveraging each other’s strengths to drive digitalization and improve public services.

Speaking as a participant, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communication and Orientation, Dr. Desmond Agbama, emphasized the importance of constant upskilling while civil/public servants appropriately translates acquired skills and training into efficiency, saying, “As Permanent Secretaries, it is our duty to ensure that officers apply the skills they acquire at JOOPSA to their work, and we will hold them accountable through performance evaluations and assigned responsibilities.”

Also speaking at the event, the Director-General, JOOPSA, Imuwahen Ajoonu urged stakeholders to spark a movement towards excellence. She maintained that economic growth relies on collective effort and strong institutions, declaring “The economy does not create itself; it is the people who make the economy” she further highlighted capacity building and service delivery as cornerstones of progress, inspiring the participants to work together towards a shared vision of sustainable development.

Also present at the events were keynote speakers including, the Vice President and Country Director, DAI, Dr. Joe Abah; Former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye; Professor of Public Administration and Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, Prof.Tunji Olaopa; Director General Braced Commission, Ambassador Joe Keshi; as well as the Director General, Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, Comrade Issah Aremu.

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