OPTS Sponsors MIT Training for Senior Civil Servants

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The Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has sponsored a two-day training by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for senior civil servants under the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF).

The two-day training programme on ‘Radical Innovation’, commenced on September 24 in Abuja for 80 senior civil servants across Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the acting Head of Service, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan said the training was aimed at developing a more innovative civil service for improved service delivery via dedicated innovation units.

Yemi-Esan recalled that one of the eight priority areas in the 2017 to 2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) is to drive innovation in the service, a fact that necessitated the training programme to help drive innovation in the public sector.

She said the Head of Service Project Management Team on Innovation was embarking on the establishment of a Service Innovation Department and Service Innovation Units in all the MDAs, as well as an innovation campaign towards raising awareness on innovation in the public sector.

She thanked the OPTS for supporting the implementation of the training Programme, which she described as the “first of its kind in the Nigerian public sector.”

The Chairman, Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Paul McGrath, commended the OHCSF for the current civil service reform designed to reposition civil service for better performance and improved service delivery.

McGrath, who was represented by the Vice- Chairman of OPTS, Mr. Lorenzo Fiorillo, said members of OPTS were delighted by the efforts of the office of HCSF to upgrade the horizon of civil servants in the area of technology.

“We are delighted to identify with the leadership and staff of the Federal Civil Service in this effort to build a modern public service and to support OHSCF in the provision of a world-class training programme as part of the activities under the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) 2017-2020.

“I trust that this training programme, delivered by one of the world’s leading training institutions, will go a long way in supporting the OHSCF in achieving her aspirations to become an organisation that provides world-class service for sustainable National Development,” he added.

The OPTS chairman also called for collective efforts to create a vibrant oil and gas industry by ensuring the security of lives and property, maintaining stable laws and policies, respecting contract sanctity and fair mechanisms for timely dispute resolution, developing sustainable local capacity and removing structural factors that increase costs.

The two-day training was facilitated by Prof. Sanjay Sarma, Vice-President, Opening Learning and Prof. Bhaskar Pant, Executive Director, Professional Education, both of the MIT.

Professor Pant said the training was the first professional programme being held in Africa, under the MIT Africa Initiative, which seeks to be actively engaged in the development of universities, as well as the public and private sectors in Africa.

The two-day training culminated in an innovation conference, which held at the National Universities Commission Auditorium, Abuja. The conference was attended by directors and permanent secretaries across the MDAs.