In this report, Taiwo Omotayo examines the recently launched 2017-2020 strategy implementation plan.
The Federal Civil Service of Nigeria had in the time past undergone various reform processes to reposition the public service for efficiency and capacity development of civil servants in the country towards growth driven economy.
However, past reforms were faced with structural divisions and defects that hardly allowed the different attempts to change the way of doing things and build needed capacity to create efficient oriented public service to attract Direct Foreign Investment DFI failed.
In July this year, the Federal Executive Council FEC presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari approved the inauguration and launch of the 2017-2020 federal civil service strategy and implementation plan with the intent to improve and develop capacity in the public sector to collaborate with the private sector in advancing the nation’s economy.
About N60-N120 billion is expected to serve as savings from cleaning Human Resources data on Integrated payroll and information system IPPIS to improve overall transparency and administration of Human Resources HM, annual savings of N2. 5 billion from digitizing content resulting in improved content sharing is inclusive of proposed savings from the project.
Consequent upon this strategic plan, the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation OHCSF, has taken the bull by the horn to inaugurate and launch the implementation strategic plan approved by Mr. President six months back, this is about the first time the public service is undergoing the implementation process of major reform programmes in line with the developmental aspirations of the present administration and the policy plan inclusive of the private sector participation in Nigeria,
The launch which took place at the Olusegun Obasanjo Hall, at the office of the head of service, those in attendance by over 13 federal permanent secretaries and directors of Federal Ministries Department and Agencies and the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters Ambassador Olu Jiba.
However, it is common knowledge that the Nigerian civil service at local state and federal levels demonstrates unproductive and non-commit ant conduct that is squarely at variant with the oath of office the civil servants took at the point of entry, the Civil service is viewed generally by Nigerians as a sector for redundancy and a breeding ground for corrupt practices.
Averse to this wasteful and unhealthy culture of the civil servants the Head of Civil Service of the Federation Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita since assumption of office initiated capacity development programmes at all strata of civil service to change the way of doing government business in Nigeria.
And to strengthen her resolve to reposition the federal civil service, the official launch and inauguration of the 2017-2020 strategy and implementation plan to overhaul the entire system was performed in Abuja.
The current leadership of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation OHOCSF led by Winifred Oyo-Ita in line with the present administration developmental strategy and economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 charted a new course to the service intended to make the service efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen centered (EPIC).
The new trajectory for the civil service after engagements with several relevant stakeholders culminated in the 2017-2020 strategy of the OHOCSF which was launched in February this year and anchored on four goals designed to reposition the bureaucracy, develop institutionalize an efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen centered culture civil service, develop and implement an enterprise content management ECM system, develop entrepreurship culture and commercial orientation in the civil service and improve welfare and benefit packages for civil service.
In her address, the Head of Service Mr. Winifred Oyo-Ita declared that EPIC culture is to build upon core values of the service which are meritocracy, transparency, accountability, anonymity, integrity, discipline, impartiality, political, neutrality and patriotism.
The goal will engender the transition to a World class civil service with positive attitudes, requisite skills, productive and highly motivated workforce that will position the ongoing reforms for more efficient public service sector.
There are established extant rules and regulations that serve as internal control mechanisms in the civil service that need to be strengthened and enforced for immediate economic recovery and a more purposeful public and private sectors growth.
It will interest you to know that OHCSF at the instance of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo and the support of African Initiative for Governance (AIG), worked hard to develop a clear communicable action plan for transforming the Nigerian Federal civil service by building on the 2017-2020 OHCSF strategic plan.
The strategic working document was reviewed at various levels to identify core areas of interest to impact on the short and long term framework and its relevance to the approved implantation strategic plan by FEC.
It is encouraging to know that by b2020 the implementation of the strategy is expected to deliver N60-120 billion savings from the Human resources cleaning Data through revamp core modules, at least 200 future leaders are cultivated through LEAD, 225 federal ministries with performance management system tools.
The Presidential steering committee on the growth plan is expected to meet quarterly, while the steering committee will meet monthly, also the strategy implementation committee is expected to meet every two weeks, then the project management teams are to facilitate and drive daily activities of the programme.
The project management teams include capacity development and training, talent sourcing, performance management, staff welfare, culture change, innovation, ippis and civil service automation.
The current reforms in the public service could not had taken place at a better time than now, considering the present administration commitment towards repositioning the public service sector for better performance and to provide high quality services to Nigerians and foreign investors.
The reforms are however, capable of institutionalizing a robust civil service that is efficient, productive; skilled motivated to accommodate young Nigerians desirous of pursuing chosen careers.
Robust and major linkages are also bound to occur between the public and private sectors to fast track the socio economic development of the Nation and the general administration of public institutions in Nigeria.
Over the years, veritable questions concerning how government business is conducted in the public sector are raised without answers, but today the Head of Service of the Federal is providing answers through reforms and changing the way government business is run.
Nigeria as a nation with about 3 million civil servants constitute a very insignificant percentage of the total population of the country, therefore enhancing and developing capacity to collaborate with the private sector as contained in the ongoing reforms will surely drive the needed growth.
The Federal government has at various levels of interfaces demonstrated commitment towards revamping the economy and creating deserving environment to encourage heavy industrialization and manufacturing, using available raw materials for increased production capacity.
Nigeria currently export yams tubers and other agricultural produce, just as farmers are encouraged with fertilizers and insect pests to boost all year round farming season, for instance Maize is no longer grown annually but at every time of the year.
This ideology is to ensure that food production and growth is carried out in the excess against consumption rates, therefore without a sustainable and efficient civil service in Nigeria the existing robust collaboration between government and the private sector will be exploited by selfish individuals.