By Okeoghene Akubuike
The Federal Government says plans are ongoing to incorporate the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and those of all Foreign Missions into one unified portal.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Manji Yarling, the Acting Head, Media and Publicity, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), in Abuja on Thursday.
Yarling said the management of the unified web portal was proposed to be handled under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
She said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said this when he led a delegation to the ICRC to seek its regulatory guidance to manage the portal using a PPP model.
Yarling said the portal among other things was aimed at providing a platform for stranded Nigerians to reach out and get help.
She said 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.
Yarling said Onyeama also briefed the ICRC on the ministry’s quest for effective management.
According to the minister, we have been looking for partners. So we are here to present our projects for you to see where there could be possibilities for cooperation.
“I have been told that we can sell this to the private sector.”
Yarling said the team from the ministry gave more insights and said the ministry was attempting to achieve three things with the project.
According to the team, they include 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 harmonised platform for the ministry and its missions.
Yarling said the team explained that the Citizens’ Help Desk was part of the development of clear guidelines to protect Nigerians abroad.
She said the team said that the project would provide multiple platforms for citizens abroad to reach out to 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.
According to Ohiani, a project of this nature can help in situations like the recent earthquake that happened in Turkey.
The director-general said it would provide a platform for Nigerians to easily reach out to the mission to seek help for themselves or other Nigerians.
He said the project was laudable, adding that If a private sector operative was given to manage, there would be better optimisation and technology deployment employed.
“We can turn part of it into a marketplace 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 commercialisation, full commercialisation and those that we don’t have to charge for,” he said.
Ohiani said 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. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams