Tinubu to Public Servants: Be Accountable to Citizens

*Abdulsalami, Akpabio, seven governors, Gbajabiamila, Dangote, 39 others get excellence awards

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

President Bola Tinubu has implored Nigerian public servants be accountable to the citizens.
He urged them to always be guided by the fact that the nation’s public institutions are not personal enterprises, stressing that as public servants, they are employees of the Nigerian people.
Tinubu who made the observation yesterday during the Nigeria Excellence Awards in Public Service (NEAPS) held at Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, restated his administration’s determination “to creating an environment where merit is rewarded, and where every public servant feels valued and motivated to give their best”.

This, he said, is not just about the awards ceremony, but about embedding a culture of recognition and reward in the ethos of the country’s public service.
The President who was represented at the event by Vice President Kashim Shettima, noted that some loopholes were still being exploited by those saddled with the nation’s trust despite the institutional measures put in place to prevent any form of irregularities in the public service.
Delivering the President’s speech titled, “Honouring the Heartbeats of Public Service,” the Vice President stated: “More than ever, our public service must live up to its expectation as a public trust where every official must account to the people, and ours is to create an ecosystem where they not only stand out but stand apart from those who sabotage us.

“Even though we have set in place institutional measures to forestall any form of dysfunction in our public service, there are still cracks often exploited by those given the trust of the nation. But what we must never get tired of doing is reminding ourselves that our public institutions are not personal enterprises, and for that, each of us is an employee of the Nigerian citizen.”

Underlining the significance of the Nigeria Excellence Awards in Public Service (NEAPS), a private sector initiative in partnership with the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF),  Tinubu gave the initiative his full support, saying it is strategic to inspire the bulk of the nation’s workforce, “set benchmarks, and create a ripple effect of positive change throughout our society”.

According to him, “reward and recognition are the very markers of every thriving institution, and indeed, nation,” even as he noted that “the essence of any successful entity, whether a private enterprise or public institution, lies in its ability to honour those who work to uphold its values and drive its progress.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the SGF, Senator George Akume, said NEAPS, a private sector-driven initiative, recognises and rewards innovation, purposeful leadership and hard work by exceptional individuals and organisations in the country’s public service across all levels of government and the private sector.
He explained that the process of selecting the distinguished honourees was based on empirical facts and figures that are verifiable.

The 44 persons that clinched the Nigeria Excellence Awards in Public Service include: Retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Peace Building award); Senate President, Godswill Akpabio (Parliamentary Excellence award); Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas (Parliamentary Excellence award); Chief of Staff to the President, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (Leadership and Administration award), and Deputy Chief of Staff to the President (Office of the Vice President), Senator Ibrahim Hadejia (Administrator par Excellence award).

Governors Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara and Peter Ndubuisi Mbah of Enugu were recognised for interventions in specific sectors in their respective states.
Others include: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso (Monetary Policy Reforms award); President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote (Industrial Revolution award); and Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank, Chief Jim Ovia (Lifetime Achievement in Banking award), among others.

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