…Seeks PPP to manage, sustain project
February 9, 2023
The Federal Government has begun moves to incorporate the website of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and those of all Foreign Missions into one unified portal.
The unified web portal whose management is proposed to be handled under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model seeks to among other things, provide a platform for stranded Nigerians to reach out and get help.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed this on Wednesday when he led a delegation from the ministry to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to seek its regulatory guidance to manage the portal using a PPP model.
The Minister and his team who were received by the Director General of the ICRC, Michael Ohiani and other management staff, briefed the ICRC on the project and the Ministry’s quest for an effective management.
“We have been looking for partners. So we are here to present our projects for you to see where there could be possibilities of co-operation. I have been told that we can sell this to the private sector,” he said.
Giving more insights, the team from the Ministry said that it was attempting to achieve three things with the project: Diplomatic Service Digitisation Initiative (DSDI), a Unified Website and the Nigeria Global Business Match and Citizens’ Help Desk.
The team said that the projects aligned with the priority of the current administration which included the creation of a harmonized platform for the Ministry and its missions.
It explained that the Citizens’ Help Desk is part of the development of clear guidelines to protect Nigerians abroad, adding that the project provides multiple platforms for citizens abroad to reach out to the government officials and have their issues resolved.
Another aspect of it is the business match-making platforms to provide global jobs and opportunities to individuals and businesses in Nigeria.
“The very high-level infrastructure that we will need to support this are: a virtual private network, an intranet, an active directory and an electronic document management system.
“With the services that we offer, we hope to achieve an integrated e-payment solution as well,” the Minister’s team said.
On his part, the DG of ICRC Michael Ohiani said that a project of this nature could help in situations like the recent earthquake that happened in Turkey. It will provide a platform that Nigerians can easily reach out to the Mission to seek help for themselves or other Nigerians.
“It is a very laudable project … If a private sector operative is given this to manage, there will be better optimization and technology deployment employed.
“We can turn a part of it to a market place where people can key in. We have to find a way for it to make money so that the private sector can recoup its investment and remit some amounts to the Ministry.
“We can seek a way to deploy artificial intelligence into these to make the operations more seamless.
“We will look at the areas that will require partial commercialization, full commercialization and those that we don’t have to charge for,” he said.
He added that the ICRC was ready to receive a business and financial model from the private sector through the Ministry on how to manage the project. END.
Ag. Head, Media and Publicity
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