Last week, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita declared open a three-day retreat for members of the project management teams for the implementation of the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation OHCSF 2017-2020Policy Strategy and Implementation Plan. TARKAA DAVID writes on the high points of the retreat.
Project Management Teams (PMTs) for the implementation of the 2017 –2020 federal civil service strategy and implementation plan (FCSSIP) was formally inaugurated on December 7th 2017. This is in order to carry out detailed and holistic public service reforms that has the capability to reform the civil service, which has over the years failed to live up to its mandate in addressing structural divisions ranging from delay in payment of allowances, upward salary review, engaging the private sector on effective collaboration and getting youths engaged in skill acquisitions programmes amongst others.
The current reforms process was targeted at proving skeptical Nigerians that the civil service is capable of doing things right.
This is about the first time in the history of the Nigerian civil service a reform process is inaugurated and followed up with a retreat that involves major stakeholders and the civil society groups with a definite time frame to submit its report for implementation.
The reforms would address the issues of delay and non-payment of pensions and gratuities; it will restructure the minds and behavior of civil servants to be productive and efficient in service delivery as well as plans against the usually anticipated pension bottlenecks after retirement.
Speaking at the opening of the retreat in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, the
Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, said that the on-going reforms initiated by the Federal Government would save the country over N120 billion over the next three years.
According to her, “The implementation of the strategy is expected to deliver N60-N120 billion savings from cleaning human` resource (HR) data on Integrated
Personnel and Pay Roll Information System (IPPIS), N2.5 billion annual savings from digitalizing content and at least 25,000 civil servants trained through revamped core modules.
“The new trajectory for the civil service after engagements with several relevant stakeholders culminated in the 2017-2020strategy of the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation which was launched in February, 2017.
“This is a civil service reform that is home-grown, it was not brought to us by the World Bank or some foreign donors. It is a think-tank output which has resulted in a strategy document that will lift and push the service to a world class status.”
Mrs. Oyo-Ita maintained that in order to reposition the federal civil service for optimum service delivery and in line with the current administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), there was urgent need to chart a new course to make the service efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen-centred.
She also said that the retreat was very crucial for the success of the FCSSIP and has been strategically designed to equip members of the PMTs with the requisite skills to deliver and actualize these expected outcomes.
She said the PMTs alongside private sector champions are expected to facilitate and drive day-to-day implementation of the eight priority-areas of the FCSSIP, which include civil service automation, Integrated Personnel and Pay Roll Information System (IPPIS), performance management and culture change.
Welcoming participants to the event, the Permanent Secretary, Service
Policies and Strategy in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Ndubuisi Osuji, expressed appreciation to the head of service of the federation for her commitment to reform the civil service to enhance capacity.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the OHCSF in driving reforms in the service, stressing that the office of the head of service of the federation is committed to repositioning the public service sector for better performance and to provide high quality services to Nigerians and foreign investors.
He noted that public servants including teachers were role models in the society, therefore issues of concerns and major decisions taken within communities to foster unity and development were only reached through presentations and ideas of those working in government believed to have acquired knowledge through education.
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