Yemi-Esan and Push for Civil Service Reforms By Abdulsalam Mahmud

Like in several organisations and government institutions, viable reform policies have the potential to transform Nigeria’s civil service, and make it world-class.


It is no brainer that the federal civil service, most especially, has been plagued by multifarious challenges, over the years. It is a civil service whose level of productivity is abysmally low, and uninspiring.


It is one that is populated by civil servants that lack motivation, demonstrate a high-level of ‘un-seriousness’ and zero patriotism to their job. In fact, they do not showcase any visible commitment towards their call of duty.


But every ugly narrative of the federal civil service is already been remodelled. The service appears to be regaining its lost grove. Under Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, the service is now becoming more effective, helping to empower activities of the federal government.


Yet, Dr. Yemi-Esan, the Head of Service of the Federation, who is the architect of the remarkable turn-around in Nigeria’s civil service, generally, is not resting in her laurels, despite a sundry of recorded feats.


She is focused on initiating more spectacular reform policies and agenda for national growth and development, together with even workers’ welfare.


Besides, the FG, according to the HoS, has already rolled out various reform initiatives, which have been instrumental in shaping the landscape of governance aimed at enhancing civil servants’ capacity and productivity.


Dr. Yemi-Esan, disclosed this on the occasion of the Civil Service Day celebration in commemoration of the ‘2022 Civil Service Week,’ in Abuja.


The day was marked with series of activities starting with a Public Service Lecture delivered by the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi with the theme: “Performance Management System: Impact on Productivity,” then the launch of a ‘Culture Change Video,’ the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 (FCSSIP25) documents, and a Public Service Merit Awards.


Yemi-Esan said it is worth noting that her Office, in collaboration with private sector partners, has devised a systematic approach for the emplacement of ‘Performance Management System (PMS) in the Civil Service.


This is premised on Mr. President’s directive at the 2021 Mid-term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat, where the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation was mandated to institutionalise an Employee Performance’s Management System (EPMS) in the Service.


For a successful implementation of the EPMS, she highlighted actions taken to include; incorporation of PMS in the FCCSIP 25, which was unveiled at the event, participation of over 1,900 staff in the phases I and II of the service-wide PMS training, including training on Appraisal and Rewards System for Directorate level officers, the development and circulation of PMS Policy and Guidelines and conduction of Job Objective Setting Workshops/Handholding Exercises, facilitated by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and the PMS department in the Office involving five (5) pilot MDAs.


She further added that PMS has been incorporated and adopted in the revised Public Service Rules, as an appraisal model for both civil and public servants.


Yemi-Esan, said her Office has carried out service-wide development and documentation, in digital form, of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and ISO Certification 9001/2015 has been introduced as a uniform standard of measuring and evaluating performance.


President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, stated that a new Nigeria Civil Service is unfolding as a result of series of measures put in place by the present leadership with support from the thirty-six states’ Civil Service, plus that of FCT.


Some well-meaning Nigerians are also committing their personal resources to be part of this proactive vision, he added.


Buhari, noted that the theme for this year’s celebration dwells on ways and manners of assessing what a civil servant does on a daily basis, and how it will affect the generality of the Service and by extension, Nigerians.


Mr. President, stated that this is aimed at enabling MDAs take giant leaps towards mainstreaming Generally Accepted Performance Principles (GAPP), in the delivery of government’s programmes, particularly the lifting of 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within 10 years.


He disclosed that his administration is working, relentlessly, towards improving the value proposition of the Civil Service and has set up a Presidential Committee on Salary Harmonization.


He said the outcome of the Committee’s assignment will provide the framework for an upward review of salaries, commensurate with output, having recently increased their Duty Tour Allowances, DTAs.


It is gladdening that Dr. Yemi-Esan is aggressively pushing for reforms that are helping the Nigeria’s civil service meets the demands and realities of the 21st century.


All what is now needed, moving forward, is for the federal government, and all other key stakeholders not to relent in offering her their unswerving supports.


Abdulsalam Mahmud is Deputy Editor,PRNigeria

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