December 5, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

Africa's Media Giant

FG inaugurates inter-ministerial team to review Public Service Reform strategy

Mr Boss Mustapha

By Bridget Ikyado

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha has inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Task Team to review the 2017-2020 National Strategy on Public Service Reform.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the team, inaugurated on Tuesday in Abuja, were drawn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as NGOs, media, private sector and civil society organisations.

The SGF, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, Mr Andrew Adejo said the team has eight weeks to submit its report.

He said that the aim of the review was to strengthen the public service to deliver services timely to citizens, with integrity, transparency and accountability;

Mustapha added that the focus was to create appropriate environment to accelerate inclusive and sustained growth in all areas, including poverty reduction and inclusive participation of vulnerable groups in governance process.

“To ensure strategic and efficient allocation and use of resources, fiscal discipline and value for money in a transparent and accountable manner through timely reporting.

“To re-invigorate and transform the civil service into an efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen-centered institution with the capacity to deliver government policies and programmes.”

He therefore urged the team to interface with selected sectoral agencies for detailed review of the strategy document and organize meetings and technical sessions with stakeholders, including development partners, NGOs, media, private sector and civil society organizations.

Mustapha said that the team would submit its report to the Steering Committee on Reforms, which he heads.

He commended the Bureau of Public Service Reforms for its commitment to repositioning the country’s public service.

The SGF noted that the public service remained the engine room of good governance and a veritable tool through which government policies and programmes are being implemented.

“It is in the light of this that Mr President mandated the reform of the public service for more effective and efficient service delivery,” he added.

In his remarks, Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, Mr Nnamdi Mbaeri, urged the team to come up with a document that would transform the country’s public service into a world class institution.

Earlier, the Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reform, Mr Dasuki Arabi said that the review was part of government efforts to ensure improvement in services delivered to citizens.

According to Arabi, the members were selected based on their experience and urged them to come up with ways to strengthen accountability and transparency in public administration, as well as measures to tackle corruption at all levels of government.

He added that the team should suggest ways of improving planning, budgeting, monitoring, management and accounting systems in the public service.

This, he said, would ensure that resources “are more sharply focused on priorities, accountability is clear, spending is transparent and public expenditure is more efficiently and prudently controlled”.

The director general said focus should also be on developing sustained economic growth, employment opportunities, social and human development to enhance the quality of life for all citizens.

“They are to ensure effective communication with all stakeholders and to promote participation by citizens in policy development, decision making and feedback on performance.

“Improve the recruitment, retention, development, performance management, motivation and work ethos of public servants through restoration of primacy of the merit principle, ensuring adequate pay, and building capability of public servants at all levels,” Arabi said. (NAN)