The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development recently issued a stern warning to its directors and heads of departments (HODs) about the consequences of not meeting their targets. This announcement came from Dr. Marcus Ogunbiyi, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, during a training session that was both in-person and online. The training focused on the use and management of new official email accounts for the ministry’s staff, intended for official communications.

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Dr. Ogunbiyi emphasized that the heads of departments would soon be signing performance contracts with him. These contracts are agreements that outline what is expected of them in their roles. If any of these HODs fail to actively use their official email addresses or meet their performance targets, they will face penalties. The Permanent Secretary highlighted that using the official email is a key part of their job responsibilities and is linked to their overall performance evaluation.

He urged all staff members to carry out their duties efficiently and to the best of their abilities. Dr. Ogunbiyi explained that their performance would be evaluated regularly, and these evaluations would significantly influence their chances of being promoted. The ministry is implementing a Performance Management System (PMS), which means that any shortcomings or strikes against an employee’s performance record within a given year would negatively impact their scores and ratings. Ultimately, this would affect their opportunities for advancement within the ministry.

Dr. Ogunbiyi also underscored the importance of the staff using the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) self-portal. This portal is a tool for managing various personal and payroll-related tasks. He stated that engagement with this portal would also be a part of their performance assessments.

In addition, he encouraged the staff to make use of a newly launched virtual learning platform created by the Office of the Head of Service. This platform offers various courses designed to enhance their skills and career prospects. By taking these courses, staff members can improve their competencies and, in turn, their performance ratings.

Earlier in the training session, Marcus Amiolemen, the director in charge of the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) department, spoke to the participants about the purpose of the training. He explained that it was essential for everyone to know how to effectively use the new official email accounts. These email accounts were created for each staff member using their unique usernames.

Amiolemen explained that the creation of these official email addresses was mandated by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. The goal was to ensure that all government-related business communications were conducted through a domain-specific email address. This gives the staff a distinct identity linked to the ministry.

He informed the participants that the official email addresses for the ministry could be accessed via the URL https://mail.fmud.gov.ng/owa or through the staff email option on the ministry’s web portal at https://mhud.gov.ng.

Amiolemen highlighted the significance of using the .gov.ng domain, which represents the country’s official identity on the international gateway. He stressed that all official communications should be conducted using these domain-specific emails to maintain a professional and secure identity.

Regarding the security of these email accounts, Amiolemen assured the participants that they were fully secured. The email accounts are managed by Galaxy Backbone, a company with a strong reputation in Nigeria’s ICT sector. He added that the email system is designed to detect and filter out unsolicited emails, ensuring that the official communications remain secure.

Amiolemen revealed that since the directive from the Head of Service, a total of 520 official email addresses had been created for the ministry’s staff. However, he expressed disappointment that more than 75 percent of these email addresses were not yet being used. He warned that if these email accounts are not used within 90 days, they would be automatically deactivated, and the licenses would be retrieved by Galaxy Backbone.

To help the staff get accustomed to the new email system, Amiolemen provided a practical demonstration using slides. He showed them how to navigate the platform and encouraged them to regularly visit the ministry’s web portal to stay updated on the latest developments and announcements within the ministry.