Pic 2: L-R: Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat; Chairman of Council and Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan and Lagos State Head of Service Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola at the Opening of 42nd Meeting of the National Council on Establishments today in Ikeja Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday said no government can succeed in actualizing its vision and plan for the people without an effective, efficient and innovative public service.
He said the public service was charged with the responsibility of implementing government policies and programmes, thus critical in actualizing government’s vision.
The governor spoke at the 42nd National Council on Establishment (NCE) meeting held in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat said the Public Service, no doubt occupied strategic position in governance as a result of the responsibilities entrusted in their care.
“No government can succeed in actualizing its vision and plan for the people without an effective, efficient and innovative public service charged with the responsibility of implementing government policies and programmes.
“In the 21st Century where technology and innovation are the main drivers of development, our public service must not live in the past; it must reflect the new age and strive to be competitive as a foremost public service in the sub-region and Africa,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu implored the council, as a matter of compelling necessity, to conduct a review of the Schemes of Service in line with evolving realities, saying prime consideration must be given to strategies that would attract and retain the best hands in public service.
“It would also not be out of place to seek that the Council critically looks into the Medical Officers cadre, especially their method of entry and advancement in order to proffer an enduring solution to the myriads of agitations that often lead to industrial unrests in the health sector. I am not in doubt that these issues, among others, would go a long way in guaranteeing our country a more robust public service that works for all,” he said.
Lagos Head of Service, HoS, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, in his speech re-emphasized that the world is more dynamic today than ever before as the pace of change was unbelievably fast and that it is manifestly clear that the future of work would be significantly determined by emerging technologies.
“It is also clearly evident that yesterday’s skills have proved inadequate in addressing today’s issues. There is, therefore, no gainsaying that today’s knowledge and skills may not be sufficient in confronting tomorrow’s challenges.
“The task before us today, therefore, is that of mid-wifing the required improvement in the Civil Service for quality service delivery. We have a unique opportunity to interrogate and review our structures, processes and procedures in a way that would enable us engineer a more responsive public service structure in which all Public Officers would be imbued with the core values of discipline, ethics and the highest standards of professionalism, by default,” he said.
Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan said mechanisms were being put in place to evolve a digitalized public service, including the development of a National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions.
She said the policy was geared towards establishing a framework and standards within Ministries, Departments, Agencies, parastatals and government owned companies using virtual engagement as an administrative procedure.
“The policy which is in line with the Nigeria e-Government Masterplan was jointly developed through a consultative process involving the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the policy document on 14th October, 2020 and efforts are underway to properly institutionalize the policy service-wide,” she stated.
Yemi-Esan added that the Federal Government had begun the complete overhaul of the weak and ineffective paper-based Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER) by putting in place a Performance Management System (PMS).