By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government has commenced a Change Mindset Advocacy Programme, for senior public officers,aimed at cultivating in public servants, the right culture and mindset needed to attain the smart city status of the state as well as ensuring the state’s public service is transformed to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Speaking at a training programme, organized for Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Agencies and Parastatals in the state, through, the Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation (OTCI) and Ministry of Information and Strategy, at the Folarin Coker Staff Clinic’s Conference Room, Commissioner, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan, said the state government, having realized the importance of changing the mindset of public servants to align with the ever changing time, decided to embark on the change campaign in the state.
According to him, “We have 24 million Lagosians, many of them travel a lot and are exposed to international standards, while some have become sophisticated, therefore, the benchmark for services has increased, and people can compare how they are served in Public Service in Lagos with the private sector.”
He added that the need for Public Servants in the State to justify what they do in the way they attend to people, especially in agencies that interface more with the public cannot be over-emphasized.
While commending the Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Agencies and Parastatals for turning out for the sensitization, Bamigbetan noted that the training wouldl be extended to other cadres.
Earlier, the Director General, Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation, Mr. Toba Otusanya said the State Government decided to embark re-orientation on Changed Mindset in order to have 21st century Public Servants who must have certain qualities.
Otusanya said the expected outcome of the training and the sensitization are civil servants who are competent, knowledgeable, creative, innovative and can challenge the status quo adding that they would embrace new ways of doing things as well as deliver services in better ways.
“Realizing this vision is not something that is farfetched because when you look at strong Public Institutions across the world like Kenya and Rwanda, these things are already happening there; as Lagos, we cannot continue to be on the sideline we have to take the bull by the horn”, he said.
He stated that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in his quest to accelerate development in the state, realized the critical role of Public Servants in this regard, “hence, his support for this campaign to ensure that all Public Servants embrace the “Growth Mindset” and be well equipped for the challenges of the modern world.”
The DG who also gave a presentation on “Growth versus Fixed Mindset” noted that the structure of this capacity development programme would be in stages and would include: Advocacy Communication; Sensitization of Senior Management; Train the trainers for GL10- 14; re-orientation workshop for Grade Levels 10-14; Impact assessment and sustainability.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), the DG said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your action, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.
The training consultant, the former Director General, Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC), Mrs. Regina Fabamwo, while commending Ambode for approving the programme, which she described as a Landmark Programme, the first of its kind in Nigeria, encouraged participants to embrace the Growth Mindset, describing it as a person’s way or habit of thinking.
She added that the Growth Mindset is a habitual mental attitude that determines how one would interpret and respond to situations; the belief that a person’s skills, intellect and talent can be developed through practice and perseverance.