President Goodluck Jonathan says his administration is determined to professionalise the federal work force as he also assures on staff welfare.The President made this known on Thursday at the State House Abuja, during the Stakeholders’ Workshop on the Civil Service, organised by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
Jonathan who spoke through Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo said his desire for the Civil Service was that of “a professional, highly skilled, merit-driven and integrity-based institution that can effectively contribute to national development and thereby meet the yearnings and aspiration of our people,” adding that “Such a service must be manned by officers of impeccable character and high integrity, sufficiently challenged and motivated to become efficient mangers of resources and talents.”
President Jonathan while commending the Civil Service and its leadership for their contributions and commitment to national development over the years assured of government’s support, saying “we shall ensure every Civil Servant can own a home and other welfare necessary for delivery of good service.”
He therefore charged the Civil Service to ensure strict observance of the rule of law, transparency, accountability, effectiveness, efficiency, and elimination of waste in service delivery, stressing that “as civil servants, you must bear in mind that the development of nations is determined not only by their natural resources, but more often than not by their moral values, especially those that shape the conduct of government business. Attitudinal change is, therefore an imperative, to which you must all be committed.”
Speaking further President Jonathan charged the gathering to come up with a comprehensive framework that would enhance the effectiveness of the Civil Service, being the primary driver of the Transformation Agenda.
“As we work together for a brighter future for our country, there is no overstating the fact that still more work needs to be done to ensure that the Civil Service not only plays its traditional roles optimally, but also becomes an active agent of change, good governance, and stability of the nation,” he noted.
In his remarks, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali, stated that the workshop was to chart a sustainable course for the Civil Service so that it could play its critical role in governance.
The Head of Service added that as part of efforts at reforming the Civil Service, a National Strategy for Public Service Reform (NSPSR) was produced, to span from year 2011 to 2020 and premised on for pillars; creating an enabling institution and governance environment; an enabling socio-economic environment; public financial management reform and; civil service administration reform.
He enumerated some of the achievements of the reforms to include; public procurement reform; computerisation of payroll in the civil service; ongoing development of a new Performance Management System; development of a Competency Catalogue for the service; service-wide Specialised Mandatory Training programme and; introduction of Senior Staff Exchange programme with the Private sectors, among others.
The Workshop with Theme: Repositioning the Nigeria Civil Service for Effective Implementation of the Transformation Agenda, was part of activities to mark the 2012 Civil Service Week.
Present at the occasion were the Minister of Defence, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple, Minister of Police Affairs, Capt. Caleb Olubolade and Chairman House of Representative Committee on Public Service, Hon. Andrew Uchendu. Others present were servicing and former leadership of the Civil Service.