The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions, in line with the culture of “the new normal” lifestyle occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami made this known in Abuja on Wednesday when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the FEC meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the approval followed a joint memorandum submitted to the Council by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, as well as the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
Pantami said: “In January 2020, as we all know, the world was taken by surprise with the emergence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared as a global health challenge.
“By March 11, 2020, WHO declared the spread of the virus as pandemic, as it ravaged many countries of the world and disrupted the way we conduct our activities.
“And now, virtual engagements are becoming the new normal.
“It is because of this that we came up with a memo that will institutionalise virtual engagements in federal public institutions to make sure that even after COVID-19, virtual engagement is recognised by the Federal Government as medium of communication.”
The minister expressed optimism that the policy, when fully operational, would minimise government spending on public functions and check corrupt practices in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).