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COVID–19: Pantami Recommends Alternative Communication Channels For MDAs

In the light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has called on all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the government to latch onto the provision of a secured and reliable channel provided by the Federal Government for effective communication.

This call is coming on the heels of the stay-at-home directive which is in effect in most public and private establishments in a bid to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

In a statement released today from the office of the Minister and signed by the Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, Dr. Pantami further noted that through its parastatal Galaxy Backbone, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has provided video conferencing, telepresence and video IP phone facilities in most MDAs within its Abuja metro Fiber network, to provide a smart means of communication and collaboration within the public sector.

He therefore encourages MDAs and civil servants to use the Federal Government’s Unified Communication Services (UCS) platform available to provide reliable and secure audio and video communication within the 1Gov network.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been highly recommended to exercise measures such as social distancing as a necessary precaution towards curbing the spread of the deadly and highly infectious virus.

The Statement notes that with the disease known to spread primarily through contact with infected persons, surfaces or environments, there is a need for civil servants and the workforce in the country to minimize physical and face-to-face meetings.

The Minister noted that platforms available to minimize the need for physical meetings while performing the day to day functions of government include about 16,000 unit of Internet Protocol (IP) Voice and Video Telephony Services, which has been deployed to provide users secure free voice & video communications over Galaxy’s network using physical handsets and software-based endpoints; and about 120 Video Conferencing/ telepresence Services terminals already deployed to provide real-time video conferencing for users to meet and collaborate with colleagues and partners across various locations nationwide and internationally.

While urging all MDAs and public officers that have these services deployed to use them by hosting remote meetings and conferences which will help limit the spread of the virus, Dr. Pantami assured that the Federal Government is doing all in its power to ease the economic strain the pandemic may have on the people.

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