In a bid to increase efficiency and capacity, the federal government, yesterday, commenced training for selected officers of Grade Level 08-14 ahead of their conversion to the planning cadre of the federal civil service.
Head of the civil service of the federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, declared the event open yesterday in Abuja.
According to her, the service settled for the initial 800 officers for the exercise, describing the selection as “rigorous and competitive.”
The training which is expected to last for two weeks at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, PSIN, Kubwa-Abuja, commenced with a total number of 800 officers, at the end of which 250 will be selected for another intensive training preparatory to their conversion to the planning cadre by the Federal Civil Service Commission.
She said, “It would be recalled that Officers on Grade Levels 08 – 14 in the mainstream federal service were invited to apply for lateral conversion to the Planning Officer Cadre. In response to the circular, a total of 1,704 applications were received out of which about 800 officers were found eligible based on the set criteria. Our target is to select the best 250 officers out of the 800 eligible candidates and subject them to intensive training.
“In order to identify the best hands, a competency test was administered to the candidates. The first selection examination took place on 8th April, 2021 while the final selection examination took place on 19th May, 2021.
“While these activities were being carried out, a robust training curriculum for the Cadre was put in place by the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, NISER, in collaboration with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and our Management Development Institutes, MDIs, to address the identified training needs.
“In line with our quality assurance principle, the curriculum has been reviewed by a committee of seasoned serving and retired senior civil servants.”
The head of service noted that effective governance requires the capacity to develop and execute short, medium and long-term strategic plans in order to solve complex problems thereby providing a guide for government to make effective decisions.
“It is against that backdrop that the critical role of the planning officer cadre in conceptualising and superintending the implementation of government projects and programmes cannot be over emphasized.
“Over the years, there has been an exponential decline in the ability of Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs to fulfill these roles in the delivery of their mandates for the actualization of national goals. It is in recognition of the foregoing challenge that the Head of Civil Service of the Federation initiated the reinforcement of the planning officer cadre through the issuance of a service wide circular in July 2020 and the subsequent commencement of other selection activities.
“The focus of this initiative is to identify and develop a new and cerebral crop of officers to effectively carry out corporate and strategic planning through research activities, acquisition, interpretation and preservation of data and information for the civil service. It is instructive to state that, your impending conversion should not be perceived as a mere change in appellation but you must be found worthy of the cadre in your level of reasoning, productivity and excellence,” she said.