By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Apparently dissatisfied with the way Nigerians have been maltreated by service providers, the Federal Government has rejuvenated its Service Compact unit with a renewed mandate to serve the people better.
Apart from appointing a new National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer for the agency, which had gone dormant since 2012, the government is charting a new direction for the organization.
The newly-appointed CEO for Servicom, Mrs. Nnenna Akajemeli at her maiden media interaction with senior journalists in Abuja, disclosed that the agency had been retooled and repositioned by the government to deliver quality services to Nigerians and achieve the purpose for which it was set up in 2004.
Akajemeli said, “As part of SERVICOM’s strategy to stimulate improvement in the quality of service delivery and measure customer satisfaction in the public sector, the SERVICOM Office has evaluated 222 Service windows using an approved SERVICOM Compliance Evaluation Index, a tool approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2005. The SERVICOM Index was reviewed in 2012 to include a sixth dimension, incorporating the Policy Commitment and Accountability on the part of Government to respond to citizen demands for service.
“The SERVICOM Compliance Evaluation experience is a wake-up call for MDAs on service delivery as reports containing findings and recommendations to improve service delivery are officially presented to the Management of the concerned MDAs and made public through the press. Thereafter, a Service Improvement Plan Training is provided by the SERVICOM Institute on how best to implement the proffered recommendations aimed at serving the citizens better. The Servicom boss disclosed that under the new direction, MDAs and other public service providers are to be held accountable for poor services rendered to Nigerians, as it had devised a means of assessing the performance of all agencies without notice.
Akajemeli said unlike in the past when the agency was taken for granted, the revitalized Servicom was set to make service providers to sit up and serve Nigerians satisfactorily as is the case in other climes.
The Servicom leader blamed the challenges facing the agency on poor financing, poor perception of its functions by Nigerians, ignorance on the part of Nigerians and the absence of an enabling law guiding its operations.
She said, “Current perception of SERVICOM by the public servants as “alien” initiative and a toothless watchdog, has led to resistance to change within the public service (the supply side) while the general public (the demand side) is largely ignorant or do not seem to know how to access quality service. Many see the brand as a mere political initiative of a previous administration, posing a huge task in changing the mindset and attitudes of Nigerians.
“Within the MDAs there is little or no ownership of Ministerial SERVICOM Units (MSUs) by some CEOs, as the MSUs are not appropriately positioned to perform their roles within their organisations
“The SERVICOM Office has no legislative instrument (Act of Parliament) on the execution of its mandates. This has affected the effectiveness and sustainability of the Office. Attempts to have the SERVICOM Bill enacted in the last two legislative sessions have not been fruitful. Akajemeli however stated that with adequate and regular funding for the SERVICOM Office by the government, it would be able to achieve its mandates and make much impact in facilitating the provision of quality service delivery by all MDAs to the citizens.