By OKon Okon
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the efforts of the present Nigeria’s civil servants for partnering with the government in driving the implementation of its programmes, in spite of difficult economic situation.
Buhari gave the commendation on Thursday in Abuja, at the inauguration of Cultural Change Video and Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) 25 Documents and Award Ceremony.
Buhari was represented by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Mohammed Bello.
The event with the theme: ‘Performance Management System (PMS): Impact on Productivity’, is organised by the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), in commemoration of 2022 Civil Service Week.
The president, who described the civil servants as the engine room of government activities, further commended civil servants for the support given to his administration in the efforts to bringing the dividends of democracy to the populace.
“I want to specially appreciate your commitment and dedication during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which your professionalism contributed significantly to contain the spread of the virus to the wonder of the global community.
“I however urge you to continue to adhere to the Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention measures and be careful as the virus is still very much around us, hence the need not to let our guards down yet, “he said.
He said the government would spare no effort aimed at improving the competencies of officers in the civil service through training and re-training of staff by the system.
The president added that the government was also working toward ensuring the development of individuals, according to their personal needs, attributes and talents to enhance the needed productivity in the service.
Speaking on the significant of the FCSSIP, Buhari explained that the initiative was approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2021, with aim for transforming the nation’s civil service into a world class service for accelerated development.
“The Culture Change Video will go a long way to reinforcing some of the competencies required for improved service delivery and it is a tool for sensitising the civil servants on the required attributes.
“The FCSSIP 2021 to 2025, which I am also going to launch today, contains the initiatives for transforming the civil service into a world class service for accelerated development, ” president said.
Speaking on the theme, Buhari said it focused was on a self-introspection of how the means of assessing what the civil servant “does on a daily basis’’ and would affect the generality of the public service and by extension, Nigerians.
Also, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, said the commemoration of civil service had provided a platform for Africa nations and Nigeria in particular to recognise the value and virtue of service to the community.
The celebration according to Yemi-Esan, is also aims to highlight and share best practices to enable the service reposition itself for enhanced performance.
“Accordingly, this year’s weeklong activities commenced with colourful celebrations/award ceremonies held at the MDA level.
” Other activities include Special Juma’at Prayers, Aerobics, an interactive session with civil servants, the launch of the Pilot Federal Civil Service Bus Scheme, media parley and an interdenominational thanksgiving service to be held on Sunday, ” HOS said.
She explained that the theme for 2022 celebration was adopted as an innovative way of not only getting more work done efficiently and effectively, but also ensuring an objective way of measuring performance of individual civil servant across board.
“This is why far-reaching efforts are being made in the Nigeria Civil Service to replace the subjective Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER) with PMS.
“Hence, the choice of the theme is informed by the need for us to highlight the importance of PMS and galvanise action towards its emplacement in the service, ” HOS said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ceremony which attracted former HOS, retired permanent secretaries and serving ones and other relevant stakeholders, featured award of 41best serving civil servants across MDAs, with the cash award of N500, 000 each.
NAN also reports that Federal Government also awarded Mr Sunday Fanoiki from Ministry of Police Affairs with a brand new car (GS4) product, after a raffle draw among the 10 outstanding contestants.