FG Harps on Merit, Performance-based System in Public Service

Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan

By James Emejo

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi- Esan has said the federal government is currently putting in place mechanisms to institutionalise a merit and performance based system in the public service.

She also said a review of the Public Service Rules (PSR) had been carried out adding that current strategies including the Performance Management System (PMS), virtual meetings, as well as talent sourcing had been included in the draft rule which is billed for presentation at the 2020 National Council on Establishment (NCE) meeting holding in Lagos this week.

Speaking at the opening of a 3-day retreat for permanent secretaries in the federal public service, organised in collaboration with the Konrad- Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Abuja recently, the HoS also said a mechanism for identifying and grooming new leaders who can replace old oneswhen they leave office was also being worked out.

She said the government will endeavour to work on the PSR report for timely implementation of the recommendations.

Furthermore, Yemi- Esan also said government’s plan to reinforce the Planning Officers’ Cadre in the service would soon be completed stating that work has commenced on the development of a concept note which includes the schedule, training needs and mode of entry into the cadre as well as procedures for conversion which will involve a Computer Based Test (CBT).

She said: “I am truly convinced that when the reinforced planning officers’ cadre comes on stream, it will restore professionalism to the almost extinct cadre.

“This is by injecting skilled and knowledgeable technocrats with appropriate motivation to assist in reliable data collection and analysis so as to improve operations of government; waste reduction and efficiency for excellent service delivery.”

She further urged the administrators and accounting officers to seek to maintain considerable level of stability, peace and order in their offices and among stakeholders.

Specifically, she said permanent secretaries should be open in the administration of their offices, “in view of the fact that we live in an information/ICT age”.

The HoS added that the retreat had been put together to
discuss matters that pertain to developmental planning, reform management, good governance, accountability and transparency among others.

However, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, who harped on mindset change in the service, said the retreat could not have come at a more auspicious time than when the federal government is currently in the process of developing Medium Term National Development plan (2021 – 2025 & 2026 – 2030) and long-term Perspective Plan, Nigeria Agenda 2050.

He said these plans will ensure economic stability, national development and good governance.

The minister said the meeting will provide participants a platform to learn, update and further entrench requisite skills, knowledge and attitudes for improved performances which will translate into good governance, peace and development of the country.

He said:”Mindset is everything. Your mindset is, without doubt your greatest asset. It is worth more than any financial or business training. It is more valuable than any degree or any education. Participants at this programme will learn some of the key issues on mindset change because doing things the same way will always deliver the same results in dealing with concepts and issues.

“The mindset change that I advocate is about how to think outside the box through a paradigm shift as we all have a choice to watch change passively happening around us, or to participate and lead it.”