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The Imperative of Manpower Development in Ogun Civil Service

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By Ebunlomo Taiyese Okuwa

The civil service refers to a sector of government that comprises workers that are employed on professional merit rather than appointment or election, with tenure that exceeds transitions of political leadership.

Since Nigeria’s independence, the civil service has continued to be the largest workforce, serving as the engine room of government at both the federal, state, and local levels.
Its main function is to assist the existing political leadership in the formulation and implementation of policies that have direct impacts on the general public.

Despite this value-based institution’s fundamental tenets of professionalism, loyalty, competence, neutrality, and high moral rectitude, its recent history has revealed a smear on the positive image it held in the past. Today, outsiders have concluded that the civil service is replete with a lack of professionalism, corruption, and much misconduct.

While this conclusion may be somewhat farfetched, especially from people who are not in the system, workers who gained employment in the system in recent years do not seem to sufficiently show that they have imbibed many of the principles and ethics of the service.

It is also believed that the bureaucratic nature of this “engine room” of government continues to hold it back from catching up with new trends, which sometimes make the private sector a lot more productive. The truth is that the bureaucracy of the civil service was deliberately instituted to make policy formulation and implementation thorough, robust, and free of costly errors. This does not mean that the system lacks imperfections, many of which affect the quality of service delivery from the workforce. Lack of commitment and diligence to duty on the part of many young officers in recent years is one of such imperfections.

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Two major reasons can be attributed as responsible for this reality. First, the “Service” is saturated with too many death weights, with the government having much more hands than it needs to perform its responsibilities. This is a problem borne out of the leadership’s compulsion to reduce the unemployment burden that has continued to grow every year. While the youths employed directly or indirectly in the mainstream civil service are no longer likely to cause problems for society, they end up adding up unneeded weight to the workforce.

Another reason for low commitment in the civil service is the fact that most graduates see a career in this sector as one that hardly promotes visions, dreams, and noble aspirations. As a consequence, those who accept employment into the service often do so half-heartedly, quietly working towards either taking offers from the private sector or travelling out of the country. This grossly affects the quality of their service delivery and contributes to a high turnover rate. The overall effects on the citizenry are huge one.

In order to reverse this trend, which is obtainable in Ogun State just like other states of the country, there is need to reform the recruitment processes into the civil service. While it is important for vacancies to be filled as and when due, the government must take time to ensure that the candidates employed are not only qualified but also ready to be of service to its employer.

Also, it goes without saying that this career path is one that is founded on service rather than a quest for riches. Anyone who takes the service as “a tentative job” while secretly looking for a more lucrative offer will hardly show commitment. This is ultimately to the disadvantage of government as it must cough out its resources to pay salaries and other entitlement for its workers all the same.

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The implication of this is for the Civil Service Commission to make the entry process into the system a lot more rigorous than it was in the past. With its role analogous to that of the human resources department of private organizations, this agency is constituted by legislature to oversee the hiring and promotions of civil servants. It is however saddled with regulating the working conditions of these workers as well as promoting the values of the public service. In order words, getting the best hands to serve the people and ensuring that these people are sufficiently motivated begins with the Commission.

Given that there is presently a lot of workers who have spent a few of years in the Service but fall short of expectations, the Civil Service Commission needs to collaborate with the Bureau of Establishments and Training to focus on manpower development. On the surface, this looks at improving the effectiveness of workers. But, it comes with a more long term impact. Through a robust manpower development plan, the essence of being a career civil servant and the prestige that comes with it can be wired into their consciousness of young officers.

Reforms in the civil service, particularly in the area of operations, are equally of importance. Young officers need to have a sense of belonging right from the start of their career. Of course, the nature of the system is one of rigid hierarchy and top-to-bottom. However, top managements of Ministries, Departments and Agencies should begin to welcome innovative ideas from junior officers which will contribute to overall service delivery to the people. Also, this will lead to a reduction of turnover rate.

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Already in place is the Public Service Transformation Office in Ogun State, with a mandate to facilitate the transformation of the Ogun State Public Service to perform effectively and efficiently for sustained improvement in service delivery to the citizens through technically competent and motivated staff using modern technology and in collaboration with stakeholders.  This reform agency since its establishment has continued to work with MDAs to increase efficiency by helping them to determine mandate overlaps and instilling a paradigm shift in the mindset of officers.

In addition, the agency has identified fifty-two change agents across all MDAs and built their capacity on the need for reform with understanding that they would continue to champion reform in their respective spaces. The agency has also facilitated relevant capacity building opportunities for public servant, with special focus on the change of their mindsets towards service delivery. It is advisable that the PSTO be fully involved in the orientation programmes organized for newly-employed officers while also ensuring that they are aware of what they signed up for.

There is no gainsaying the necessity of manpower development for workers across the country.  The results might be evident on the long run. But, its impact on the commitment and efficient of young officers could be instant. Sustained collaborations among the Civil Service Commission, the Bureau of Establishment and Training, and the PSTO in this regard will put Ogun State Civil Service on the right path, while also encouraging young officer to see the career as respectable and worthy of full commitment.

Okuwa, an Information Officer in the Ogun State Ministry of Information & Strategy, Oke-Mosan Abeokuta.

Can be reached via; 07066545954 or 08052125135.

Labour

Kogi Trains 63 Facilitators for Effective Implementation of Social Transfer DLI 1.1

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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

No fewer than 950 vulnerable households will benefit from the social transfer (DLI 1.1) intervention under the Kogi State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (KG-CARES).

Hajia Falilat Abdulrazaq, Head of Delivery Platform for Social Transfer and Livelihood Support Grant (DLI 1.1 & 1.3) KG-CARES, disclosed this on Monday in Lokoja, at a sensitisation and orientation training for 63 facilitators and GROs on Social Transfer (DLI 1.

1) from the 21 local government areas of the state.

According to her, the Disbursement Linked Indicator (DLI 1.1) social transfer is the disbursement of N10, 000 monthly to the aged, critically ill, urban poor and the physically challenged, using the existing platform of the state cash transfer unit for implementation.

She noted that the workshop was to build the capacity of the facilitators to go the field for validation, and enrollment of beneficiaries using the existing state’s social register.

She disclosed that a total of 950 households will be benefiting from the disbursement of the N10,000 monthly across the 21 local areas of the state.

She explained that the program was initiated to cushion the economic hardships as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We are training the facilitators from the 21 local government areas of the state on social transfer who are going to be the foot soldiers of the program at the local and community levels,” she said.

Also speaking, Mallam Haruna Mohammed Sanni, the State Coordinator of NG-CARES, Kogi State, said the program was the initiative of the federal government alongside the 36 States’ Governments in collaboration with the World Bank.

According to him in 2020, people could neither go out to source for their daily income, nor go to farm, market due to COVID-19 pandemic which aggravated the level of poverty across the world including Nigeria.

He added that NG-CARES was conceived to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, categorized under three result areas to reduce the economic hardships of the poor and vulnerable citizens.

He highlighted the result areas to include the Social Transfer (DLI 1.1) for the aged, the chronically ill, urban poor and the physically challenged.

“In addition, DLI 1.2, which is Labour Intensive Public Works, aimed at engaging able men to protect and maintain public institutions and facilities, where they get a token to support their livelihood.

“Also, the Livelihood Grant Support (DLI 1.3) is aimed at providing a start-up grant to economically active population to sustain their livelihood due to COVID-19 hardships.

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“DLI 1.4 is aimed at providing basic services being implemented by CSDA to build clinics, blocks of classroom, nutrition and sanitation services,” he said.

Sanni stressed that the NG-CARES generally targeted the poor and vulnerable as well as farmers to provide inputs, processing equipment and extension services to them.

This, he said would enable farmers to produce high yield and also provide feeder roads for easy access to markets, provide water and sanitation in markets, to ensuring food security.

He added that the third package, DLI 3.3 is the ICT Enhancement, aimed at boosting the use of ICT at the rural areas so that all rural communities in Kogi can be part of the global communities.

He noted that the NG-CARES is based on ‘performance for results’ (P for R) as the State Government would spend its own resources to deliver results, after which the world bank will review the performance before reimbursement of the state.

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Labour

Make NIPOST Best in Africa-PmG Tasks Staff

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The Postmaster General of the Federation, Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, yesterday tasked staff of the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) to work towards making the organisation best in Africa. According to him, the staff of the postal agency can create a global postal organisation of their dreams if they are committed to the ideals.

In a special May Day message addressed to NIPOST workers across the country, Adewusi said the choices workers of any organisation make have direct impacts on the performance and positioning of the oraganisation.

He said, “As a postal service delivery organisation, we are very well-positioned to become the best in Africa and one of best in the world. This goal is achievable if we choose to stay focus on our daily decisions that will take us to the place of fulfillment.”Adewusi  reminded NIPOST workers that the pace of change in the delivery business has accelerated in such a manner that NIPOST could not afford to be left behind.

“In the last two years, our successes depended on strategies that continually strengthened our core mandate,” he said. The Postmaster General recalled that on assumption of office, the speed with which NIPOST was to operate was slowed down by the coronavirus pandemic.

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“The world had, subsequently, witnessed a significant challenge that affected businesses and altered our ways of life. Considering the uncertainty of the time, staying united, as we have done, was the assurance that we had, and the hope that we would overcome the difficult time, driven by our sense of responsibility, our utmost choice to operate with optimism, a commitment to discipline and dedication to our valued customers and the community we operate in,” he added.

He explained that within the context of new innovations that NIPOST has embarked upon, the workers should be determined to find the breaks in the previous and current situations to improve the way they serve the public by remaining a progressive organisation.

He said being able to anticipate the changing needs of customers and adapting as quickly as possible to a competitive and evolving marketplace remain key objectives. The NIPOST noted that  the recent restructuring of the agency was done to achieve greater efficiency adding that “Within this context, I urge all directors and general managers to tighten their seat belts as this flight takes off, have a perspective of hope, and be determined to work tirelessly for the development of the new NIPOST.”

He said under his watch, NIPOST would  invest in the future of the postal service, by creating the best opportunities for long-term growth and profitability. “It means investing in training and development, in product and service innovations, in our systems and processes and improving our use of technology. It also means making long overdue improvements to our infrastructures, including upgrading and deploying advanced package sorting equipment,” he said.

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He added that  NIPOST would  give  greater focus on innovation, with designs to test new delivery offerings, invest greatly in procuring cutting edge tools to better meet the digital and mobile expectations of our customers.

“We will develop strategies to better engage and empower employees. As we fully leverage the potentials of technology, we want to give you more flexibility and problem-solving tools to deliver greater value to our customers. To best compete for customers, we will need to become more entrepreneurial at every level of the organization.

Training and retraining of staff, upgrading of Nigerian Postal Service to international standard to enhance human capacity development has also become the focal point of this administration. We will also build the most efficient and productive network to support our products and growth. Leveraging on technology to make NIPOST the largest hub for e-commerce, with increased capacity for last mile delivery,” he said.

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Labour

We are Currently not Recruiting – DSS tells Nigerians   

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By Gom Mirian, Abuja

The Department of State Services has on Friday advised Nigerians to be wary of fraudsters, saying the service was currently not recruiting. This was contained in a statement by the secret service spokesperson, Dr.

Peter Afunanya in Abuja.

Afunanya stated that the service does not recruit online or does it sell job application forms nor demand for money from job seekers before recruiting.

According to the statement “The Department of State Services wishes to notify the public that it is not currently recruiting.“It also uses this opportunity to reiterate that it does not recruit online, sell job application forms or demand money from prospective employees (when and if it recruits).

“The public is, by this notice, advised, for the umpteenth time, to be wary of fraudsters who operate fake and misleading websites designed to fleece them.

Interested candidates are advised to make recruitment enquiries from the Service’s Headquarters, Abuja, its State Commands, other Formations nationwide, official website: www.dss.gov.ng and/or the Public Relations Lines (+234 9153391309-10, +234 908837351

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