CHIBUZOR EMEJOR highlights the creative and significant strides made in the federal civil service under the supervision of the Federation’s Head of Civil Service, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan.
It goes without saying that civil service is considered as the engine room of government around the world since it plays a key role in government policy creation and implementation for effective service delivery to the people.
Aside from policy creation and implementation, the civil service acts as the foundation for good governance, policy execution, and the delivery of democratic dividends. It also offers technical and professional help and counsel to political office holders whose positions or appointments are temporary.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu described the civil service as a fulcrum for governance, whose vision and mission are predicated on the instrumentation of policies and programs that would enhance national economic and multi-dimensional growth, speaking recently at the Rewards and Recognition Ceremony/Gala Night marking the conclusion of the 2023 Civil Service Week celebrations in Abuja.
The President, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, remarked that the current administration has very high expectations of the civil service and that the civil service must raise the bar by embarking on reform projects.
Undoubtedly, in recent years, the Federal Civil Service has been undergoing reforms and transformations tailored towards enhanced quality of service and effective service delivery to the citizenry.
For example, the launch of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 (FCSSIP25) is intended to transform the Federal Civil Service into a world-class Service while also putting in place mechanisms for the Service’s re-engineering for increased productivity, quality service delivery, and to remain professional and globally competitive.
According to crucial stakeholders and civil employees consulted, the execution of the FCSSIP25 under the supervision of the Federation’s Head of Civil Service, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, has begun to generate favorable effects.
At a media parley during the just concluded 2023 Civil Service Week, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, explained that FCSSIP 25, derives its thrust from six thematic areas which include Capability Building and Talent Management; Performance Management System (PMS); Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System(IPPIS) – Human Resource; Innovation; Digitalisation and Staff Welfare.
Yemi-Esan, spoke extensively on the gains recorded, thus far, in the implementation of FCSSIP25 including the training of 6,007 Officers on Salary Grade Levels (SGLs) 07-17, under the Structured Mandatory Assessment-based Training Programme (SMAT-P), institutionalisation of the Leadership Enhancement and Development Programme (LEAD-P), the introduction of Computer-Based Test (CBT) for the Combined Promotion (COMPRO) examination.
Other achievements, according to her, include the launch of a fully functional Performance Management Department (PMD) to operationalise Performance Management System (PMS), Service-wide.
It would be recalled that the new PMS is institutionalised to promote a culture of accountability and transparency in service delivery. Prior to its introduction, Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER) was used to assess the performance of public servants. However, APER, though noble, had a defective framework which impeded its successful implementation.
One of its limitations was “the use of a paper-based evaluation instrument and the absence of a Quality Management Standard.”
Based on the Presidential directive of 2021, the Office of the Head of the Civil Srtvice adopted the Whole of Government approach in implementing PMS such that PMS implementation is cascaded as follows: National Developmental Goals as prioritized by government; MDA Goals and Objectives; Departmental Job Objectives and Individual/Employee Job Objectives.”
Commenting on the third pillar of FCSSIP 25, which is Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, the Head of the Civil Service, said 1, 618 Federal Civil Servants have been discovered with fake letters of employment, following the verification of 69,854 officers across the core Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government in the 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Yemi-Esan noted that the affected workers have been suspended from the IPPIS platform, adding that they have been handed-over to ICPC for proper investigation and prosecution.
On innovation, which is the fourth thematic area, Yemi-Esan said, “Knowledge drives innovation, innovation drives productivity and productivity drives economic growth”. She explained that for Nigeria to achieve a “Civil Service of Our Dream, the Office has been able to put structures in place to effectively support and sustain innovation in the Civil Service.
According to her, “The driving of Innovation in the Service has caused us to look inwards. As a result, the Office has been able to create an environment to identify
gifted officers across the MDAs who have so much to offer in terms of out-of-the-box ideas and solutions.
“Before now, the Service was faced with a Risk-averse and Closed system of public administration. The Office, therefore, organised the first innovation competition in 2020 to stimulate creative thinking for higher productivity and satisfactory service delivery that produced four award winners.
“To also address the issue of non-implementation of innovative ideas, the Office established a Service Innovation Department in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and Service Innovation Divisions (SIDs) across MDAs. So far, three editions have been organised, the most recent held in March, 2023.
“At the last edition, the first-place winner was awarded the prize of a total sum of three million Naira (N3,000,000) while the first and second runner up winners got one million, seven hundred and fifty Thousand Naira (N1,750,000) and one million Naira (N1,000,000) respectively.”
Commenting on digitalisation, she announced that her Office was working assiduously to ensure the full digitalisation of the work processes of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government by 2025.
Yemi-Esan explained that both the present and future of the Public Service lies in digitalisation, as a veritable tool for its effective functioning, and the delivery of
prompt, citizen-centric and cost-effective public services.
She revealed that her Office had already gone digital in all its work processes, adding that many MDAs have gone far in the actualisation of full digitalisation by 2025.
The Head of Service highlighted the efforts by her Office in ensuring the welfare of Federal Civil Servants, such as the provision of affordable housing, agri-entrepreneurship programme, salary and allowances, group life insurance and the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Programme and Cooperative Societies, which over 6,500 civil servants had benefited from loans disbursement.
During the recent Rewards and Recognition Ceremony/Gala Night as part of activities for the celebrations for 2023 Civil Service Week, Yemi-Esan announced the three top prizes for outstanding civil servants.
The Star Prize of a Brand New 2022 JAC JS4 Luxury Model SUV was won by Mrs. Juwon Olayiwola of the Federal Ministry of Education; a 2-Bedroom Semi-Detached Bungalow was given to Mr. Nwachukwu of Service Welfare Office, OHCSF; and the third prize, a plot of land, was allocated to Mrs. Chukweke Stella Oluchi, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
She further affirmed that Rewards and Recognitions serve as a morale boosting mechanism to galvanise employees to go the extra mile, innovate and achieve excellence.
According to her, “This Scheme is ever-evolving, fostering a positive and motivating work environment necessary for the success of any institution.
“At the heart of such an environment lies an effective recognition and reward system that not only boosts employees’ morale but also enhances overall productivity and loyalty.”
However, in spite of these giant strides recorded, much still needs to be done in the Federal Civil Service. First, there is urgent need for the Presidential Committee on Salary Harmonisation to work assiduously to review salaries in order to reduce the disparity of salaries of civil servants in various MDAs. This is to ensure fairness to all workers.
In addition, majority of the civil servants and indeed workers in other sectors, are grappling with the current harsh economic realities, government needs to review upward their salaries and allowances in tandem with the current realities.
In an interview with Saturday INDEPENDENT, some workers raised the issues bordering on lack of working tools necessary to kick-start digitalisation and PMS; lack of alternative source of energy to power digitalisation; backlog of unpaid promotion arrears and the payment of first 28 days allowance and delay in the release of promotion results as some of the critical issues that should be addressed urgently.
While all these are being addressed, it is expected that civil servants would take full ownership of these various laudable initiatives through an altitudinal change and positive disposition to work for socio-economic and political development of Nigeria.
- Source: Saturday INDEPENDENT
Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States
The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.
The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.
In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.
Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”
“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.
“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.
“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”
Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”
Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life
Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.
Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”
Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.
The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.
While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.
According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.
The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.
“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.
“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”
Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.
Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.
The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.
Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).
Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks
The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.
The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.
Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.
CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.
Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.
DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.
She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.
Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.
Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.
Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.
ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.
CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.
CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.
The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.
CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.
- Source: Independent