FG Partners Rwanda on Civil Service Reforms

Winifred Oyo-Ita
  • Buhari to pay workers N740bn salary, pension arrears

By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The federal government has entered into a partnership agreement with Rwanda on the possibility of adapting its modern approach to Nigeria’s public administration.

Nigeria’s Head of Service (HoS), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, revealed this when she briefed journalists on the achievements of her office under the change agenda.

She said a delegation went to Kigali to understudy how the country recovered from genocide to become the model in Africa in public service delivery in less than 20 years.

Oyo-Ita also disclosed that some delegates from the restive North-east were part of the contingent.

“We have not experienced genocide like Rwanda, but terrorism is wiping out a whole generation in the North-east. So, we felt the need to visit Rwanda and understand how they came out of the difficult period of their history to the point they have become the flagship nation in Africa in public administration. We want to see how we can apply this approach to the North-east,” Oyo-Ita said.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured civil servants on the payment of salary and pension arrears inherited from previous administration believed to be in excess of N740 billion.

Buhari, who gave the assurance during the presentation of EPIC merit awards to civil servants at the weekend, was represented on the occasion by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige.

“For a start, there is no embargo on promotions in this regime. Again we inherited a lot of outstanding payments from the previous administration.

“There are concerted efforts, even within the lean resources that have accrued to this government, we will try to upset those arrears of salaries, pensions and even the shortfall in the payment of promotions arrears and debt penalties,” Buhari said.

The president also offered his assurance to support all programmes designed to uplift the civil service, adding that the government will continue to promote the culture of efficiency, productivity and incorruptibility.

“The culture of training in the civil service will continue to be supported and taken to greater heights so that the civil servant will be fully equipped and the civil service will be a place that people will envy,” Buhari said.

Among the awardees were some retired permanent secretaries and directors in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). The awards were in Categories A, B and C.