BY PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin City
The Edo State governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, met with the Head of Service, Permanent Secretaries and other state civil servants on salary grade level 15 to 17 with a pledge to boost capacity development and provide health insurance for workers in the state.
Addressing the civil servants at Government House in Benin City, Obaseki said the aim of the meeting was to share thoughts towards ensuring a more efficient and result oriented state Civil Service in pursuing the objectives of 2018 budget, which he has assented to.
He said he spends 48 hours responding to memos and mandated senior officials to respond to all memo within 72 hours. “I have a dashboard tracker to monitor the response time. Government will issue queries to those who flout this rule, and other areas where officers are found wanting,” he stressed.
“The era of automatic promotion is gone as people must earn their promotion. Promotion will not be delayed. But assessment will be done on time as delay in promoting workers will not be tolerated,” he added.
On ways to ease the workload on civil servants, the governor promised to recruit more workers, provide facilities and logistics and procure additional 1,000 computers to augment the 1,000 bought last year.
Stressing that his administration will not negotiate the health of the people of the state, he said the Edo State Health Insurance Scheme will be made compulsory for all in the state, especially the civil servants, to enable them access quality good healthcare.
The governor emphasised that with the nation’s economic challenges, there was need to avoid the luxury of the past in the running of government affairs and to embrace efficiency by deploying Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the state civil service.
“We will emphasise training and re-training for our civil servants, we need to create an environment where we will enjoy coming to work,” he said.
The governor also assured that the civil servants will participate in the housing project to be embarked on by the state government this year.
Obaseki said the state is working to entrench a system that works for the people, adding “Given the situation we have found ourselves, we have no choice than to change the way we do things. The people of the state expect so much from us because of the level of political awareness and we are prepared to deliver on our promises”.
The governor led the workers to inspect an ICT training centre located inside Government House with which the state government intends to train civil servants, in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Earlier, Head of Service, Mrs Gladys Idahor expressed appreciation to the governor for his commitment to capacity building for civil servants in the state.
Idahor assured the governor of commensurate support and loyalty of the workforce in the state, adding, “This year, we will be more committed and dedicated on our part as civil servants to ensure effective service delivery.”
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