June 25, 2024

We’ve Transformed Public Service Delivery, Says Obaseki

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…JOOPSA is to bridge knowledge gap

By Simeon OSAJIE

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Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki said his administration has instituted several policies to transformed the public service ensuring it delivers effective and efficient service to the people of Edo State.

Obaseki said this at the commissioning of the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) in Benin City, in honour of the former Edo State Governor, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, who yesterday marked his 84 birthday anniversary.

The governor expressed appreciation to all the guests present, stating, “Thank you all for attending this formal inauguration of this Institution of the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy JOOPSA which is an Institution build to transform public and civil service delivery and bridge the knowledge gap of our public servants.

“The ability of a government to execute it’s policies is largely is dependent on the quality and ability of it’s public servants. That is why from the beginning of our Administration the transformation of the public service of our State has been given priority.

“It’s was clear in my mind that it will be impossible to deliver on the mandate of our Administration without a strong and effective Public and Civil Service. Unfortunately, the public service we met was very weak in several areas. It’s processes and procedures has become blurred because they were manual and therefore the civil service sluggish and prone to corruption and environment hazardous, offices without proper toilet facilities.

“Welfare of workers was terrible and wondered why the civil servants themselves allowed their situation to deteriorate to such an extend. Nothing like performance Management, nothing was done strategically and criteria for promotion was never merit based. You must belong to society to be considered and training and human capacity development was relegated.

“It was now important to change the narrative if we are to succeed to reposition Edo for sustainable, socio economic growth”.

He further noted that in the last six years his administration has taken a wholelistic approach to revamp the public and civil service in Edo State to enable it function effectively and efficiently.

“Edo State transformation and enhancement projects in the public service which we call Edo Steps has resulted in significant and unpresidented improvement in the capacity of the public servants to delivered optimally.

“Today, the public service in Edo State is the most digitalized public service in Nigeria, with over 5,000 computer and fiber optic connection across offices in the State. By September 1st 2023, Edo State would have achieved a paperless governance environment which will make us the first State to achieve this feats. I will be the last governor to work with physical files in the State.

“The offices of our public servants in Edo State are the best they can be and well equip with State of the art facilities which can be compared to any you can fine in the world with 24/7 electricity and fast internet connectivity.

“We have taken the welfare of our public servants as a priority because we know that if you don’t pay people properly, and take care of them you should expect high productivity from them. The don’t joke with the welfare of of our workforce as we ensure that all working with us have heath insurance as you don’t need to pay for treatment.

“We have fully funded contributory pension scheme, which we started 1st of January 2017 and the scheme I am told that the savings in that scheme is approaching N10 billion as we will not have a situation when people retired you don’t have money to pay them”.

Obaseki said in order to curb and deal with the human capacity deficiet in the civil service, his administration embarked on setting up JOOPSA as a centre of excellence to train and build the capacity of public servants to enable them perform optimally.

“The Academy will undertake training, research, exchange and intellectual linkages with other local and International Institutions. It is clear to us that only a well skill workforce that can drive meaningful and impactful change in governance and sustain our development efforts in Edo State.

“The fact that we have moved Edo State Civil service to an electronic platform makes important to have the facilities where we can train and improve the Knowledge of our workforce given the fact that the training need for efficient service delivery are always going to be reoccurring because technology keeps changing. Therefore, it important we have a parmanent structure and system to continue to upgrade our workforce in the State.

“Edo State have decide to go digital as the world has taking that direction and Edo is leading the way as we invest in extensive digital infrastructure as we are now on the verge of completing the link of 2000 KM of fiber optic connection across Edo State to connect every local government area to enable people link up to what we are doing in JOOPSA.

“Our workforce will continue to receive continue training to opt and deliver effective and efficient service delivery to contribute to the development and growth of the State.

“We decided to name this academic after the first executive governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, because he is an example of what the State tries to propagate. That of integrity, fidelity, interlectualism and excellence.

“We are standing on platform played before our time and important to honour those who started the journey to encourage others to sacrifice for the Country”.

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