ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF OSUN, OGBENI RAUF AREGBESOLA, AT THE FORMAL LAUNCH OF OSUN CIVIL SERVANTS’ SMART IDENTITY CARD AND ‘I AM ALIVE PROJECT’, HELD AT THE PARKING LOTS, GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, ABERE, OSOGBO, ON TUESDAY APRIL 29, 2014
It is with a sense of accomplishment that I stand before you here today. This does not stem from any feeling of cockiness. Rather, it comes from a sense of mission that we have again crossed another important threshold in our sure and steady march to the brave new world of technology-driven and ICT-enabled governance and operation in Osun.
In those days when the Bureaucracy was invented as a tool for administration and governance, it was the best thing that ever happened to the administration of people on a large scale. This is why the Bureaucracy is described as a mechanism of management that involve rules, regulations and procedures evolved to organise affairs in large and complex organisations in a manner that makes for smooth and efficient functioning
Among other things, the bureaucracy ensured effective organisation of a large number of people; it greatly improved hierarchical control; vastly enhanced human capacity for coordination; hugely enriched the transmission of information through the chain of command; and profoundly boosted the processing and delivery of results.
Because it functions through impersonal rules and procedures, it heightens technical competence and generally improves organisational efficiency. On the whole, the Bureaucracy was supposed to be impersonal, rational and efficient.
But over time, various problems crept in. Some of them are human while the others are a product of the time we live in.
It was towards providing solutions to the ‘Bureaucratic Solution’ that research efforts had been directed for a long time. Happily, a radical breakthrough came with the invention and application of Information and Communications Technology to organisational problems.
The ICT road had since become a real viable option for dealing with many of the problems of organisational dysfunctions. By transferring many functions hitherto performed by humans to machines that are devoid of the untoward influences of human feelings, emotions and intuitions, it brings real impersonality, rationality and efficiency to bear on organisational functions.
When we came aboard, we decided that the ICT road was a sensible path for us to follow in order to be able to tackle many of the recalcitrant problems of maladministration that we met on ground. We have not been disappointed. Indeed, we have largely been vindicated.
To be sure, it was through the application ICT to our tax administration and revenue collection that enabled us to increase our internally generated revenue by 100 per cent within the first few months of our administration.
We have since intensified our effort to make ICT an inherent part of our public administrative system. The introduction of this new smart electronic identity card is another component of that overall effort. It will expectedly bring about many benefits to all of us; the individual civil servants and the government. It will be given to all workers across all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including Local Government Council workers.
The smart ID card is electronically personalised, with biometric features, to each of its users. It will add immense values to the workaday functioning of workers and will equally improve the capacity and cost of administration by government.
For instance, it will help to eliminate many sources of financial waste and leakage employed to deprive government of needed funds. It helps create an accurate and reliable database for payroll administration and salaries’ payment.
For the workers, the benefits are similarly numerous. It effectively removes the possibility of defrauding any workers of the payments due to them. Through this smart card system, the workers get their monies paid directly to their accounts instead of through any intermediary points.
Leave bonuses for example are now tied to each worker’s birthday and paid to their accounts automatically on that day. With this smart ID cards, there cannot be mistaking identity in the payment of monies due to the workers. In this system, identity is completely individualised and electronically personalised.
For the pensioners, it removes the stress of going through multiple verifications to get their payment and also blocks the means for cheating them out of their money.
It also gives payroll officers the opportunity for ICT skills acquisition because they will be trained in the use of Microsoft packages, computer networking, database management, payroll and human resources solution.
A very interesting feature of this card is that it is linked to a credit or debit card and gives the owner access to his or her salary account and can withdraw up to 20 per cent of the salary with or without money in the account.
Each of the 150 officers that will participate in the training will also receive a computer unit with UPS, as well as one HP printer, training manuals and one year free internet services for their participation.
By clearly identifying the living from the dead, this system ensures that ghost will no longer mingle with our workers or have access to our payroll in Osun. It keeps them where they belong – in the grave. It stops the dead from coming to steal money from the living. It makes certain that only retirees who are ‘ALIVE’ receive payment. This affirms the sense in the project’s title, ‘I AM ALIVE’.
It is my fervent prayer that none of you will die. You will stay alive to earn and receive your pay and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
I thank you all for being attentive.
Osun a dara!