Day Africa Stood Still for Nigerian Civil Service

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Oyo-Ita
Winifred Oyo-Ita

Ofem Uket

It was clear to the African continent on that Day, that seniority cannot be defined by age Infiniti, but by exemplary quality and enterprise innovations that will drive the process of growth and development, taking into account sectorial reforms in the Nigerian civil service by the Buhari-led administration.

The United Nation’s World Public Service Day was a day set aside annually, precisely the 23rd of June to recognise the contribution of the public service to Nation building in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly resolution.

The UN Public Service Day intends to and has since 2003, been celebrating the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlighting the contribution of public service in the development process; recognising the work of public servants, and encouraging young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark this memorable day at continental level, recognition and honour for the country took center stage in Nairobi, Kenya, where the prestigious United Nations Public Service Award for excellence was bestowed on the Nigerian Civil Service for innovations in Public Sector Reforms.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, has said that the award won by Nigeria was classified as the best country showcasing innovations in civil service reforms in Africa. She disclosed this while receiving the plaque, trophy and other paraphernalia of the award from the federal government’s delegation who received the award.

According to her, the award was part of the celebrations of the World Public Service Day by the United Nations (UN). The African celebration, which was hosted in Nairobi June 21 to June 23, attracted delegates from across African countries. 

She said the Africa Public Service Day celebration was part of the United Nations celebrations of the World Public Service Day. All African countries and the representatives of the civil service in the countries congregated in Nairobi, Kenya for three days.

“The mission was to deliberate on what each country is doing to improve the quality of her civil service through innovation, service delivery, accountability and transparency. Nigeria also participated actively and we had an exhibition pavilion where all the participating countries showcased the reforms in their respective civil service. This was to show where they were, what they are doing now and where they are heading to. It is with pride that I want to inform you that Nigeria won the best exhibition and pavilion award,” Oyo-Ita said. 

According to her, the award was not just because of the decoration or the artistic nature of Nigeria’s pavilion but due to what the country showcased to the African continent, especially the reforms in the area of service delivery.

She listed other reforms which earned Nigeria the award as capacity development, accountability through the Human Resources (HR) module of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) as well as application of technology to civil service processes and procedures.

“This was all well received and thus, our country won the award as the best country showcasing innovations in service reforms,” she said. She also commended President Muhammadu Buhari and his cabinet for their cooperation and support which, she said, led to the successes recorded in the various reforms carried out in the nation’s civil service.

She equally commended the workers for their cooperation in ensuring the success of the reforms. 

However, the United Nation Public Service Award UNPSA is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility in public service.

The purpose of the annual event is to promote and reward innovation and excellence in public services in support of the realisation of the SDGs and the principle to leave no one behind, which is at the core of the 2030 Agenda. It takes into account the various levels of development of countries while reflecting the universal nature development.

Effective, inclusive and accountable public-sector institutions are critical for the implementation of various developmental initiatives and the achievement of the taret objectives. They play a key role in achieving interlinkages and policy coherence; designing national development strategies and plans, developing infrastructure, mobilising resources, monitoring and evaluating public programmes, projects and development activities, and equipping public servants with the capacities to implement the reforms. They also have an important role to play in providing inclusive services to better serve citizens and leave no one behind, including thorough digital government.

The work in progress Sustainable Development calls for innovative transformation and puts forward values and principles such as ‘leaving no one behind’, integration, partnerships, and universality, which need to be translated into action. All levels of initiatives’ of government are highly relevant to the focus of the 2019 United Nations Public Service Forum. Public institutions need to embrace innovation and transformation to deliver more effective, timely and responsive services, and embody the principles of transparency, accountability and inclusion.

The work in progress Sustainable Development calls for innovative transformation and puts forward values and principles such as ‘leaving no one behind’, integration, partnerships, and universality, which need to be translated into action. All levels of initiatives’ of government are highly relevant to the focus of the 2019 United Nations Public Service Forum.

Public institutions need to embrace innovation and transformation to deliver more effective, timely and responsive services, and embody the principles of transparency, accountability and inclusion. The Forum will provide a platform for Ministers and other senior decision makers to reflect on how to advance progress in realising the set goals. Participants will also have the opportunity to debate emerging issues and trends, discuss good practices, strategies and innovative approaches for effective service delivery and effective transformation in service delivery on the economy, accepting to push forward, a cross cutting tenet of development goals. It will be a moment to reflect on common challenges and exchange lessons learned from the new approaches and innovations that are being experimented worldwide.

Nigeria therefore, should see this recognition as a stepping spring to achieve greatness and a sustainable civil service reforms.