THE Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, has expressed optimism that the nation’s civil service has the capacity to proffer solutions to the current economic and social challenges confronting the nation.
Yemi-Esan spoke at the 41st meeting of the National Council on Establishment (NCE) held in Asaba, Delta State.
She explained that the meeting of the National Council on Establishment was a veritable platform to exchange ideas and views on the state of the civil service with a view to proffering options and directions for improvement in the processes, procedures and systems of operations.
Yemi-Esan insisted that the pool of experiences, skills and competences available in the civil service would undoubtedly be required in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes to overcome problems arising from the drop in the economic fortunes and other social challenges currently besetting the country.
According to her, the council was uniquely placed to advise the federal and state governments on matters pertaining to staff establishments, grading, salary structures, conditions and schemes of service and general welfare of civil servants.
The acting head of service, therefore, advised delegates to ensure that decisions and recommendations of the Council on matters of importance to civil servants were made with the sole objective of ensuring high performance and enhanced productivity.
Yemi-Esan expressed optimism that with the wide and rich experience and knowledge of civil service structures and processes, the service would evolve a workforce that would be result-oriented, focused and efficient.
She said this becomes imperative in the efforts to achieve the goals articulated in the change agenda of the present administration and move the civil service of Nigeria to the next level.
The governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, in his remarks, re-emphasised the role of civil service as key drivers of the image and structure of government’s operations.
He said the bureaucracy was needed to guide the political class rightly noting that the growth of the nation lies in the efforts, ability and activities of the civil service.
Okowa, who was represented by the deputy governor, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, advised the civil servants to always offer the best advice to their principals for the progress of the nation.
He noted that the knowledge embodied in top management cadre makes them invaluable to the development and growth of the country.
He also called for special attention to the grooming of young officers for continuity of excellence in the civil service and for the service to remain relevant, productive and useful to governance.
The governor reminded delegates that as bureaucrats, they are chief accounting officers in their respective offices, saying they have a great role to play in the implementation of government’s decisions and policy focus.
He further urged delegates to conform strictly to the requirements of the civil service in the discharge of their responsibilities, be non-partisan and ensure that discipline is injected into the service without political bias.
Governor Okowa also enjoined the council to come up with fresh ideas that would help in building a virile public service capable of sustaining the democratic experience and yearnings of Nigerians.