Covid-19: FCT minister enraged as VIPs opt for home treatment

…Sets up committee to harmonize workers’ salaries

By Dirisu Yakubu

As part of activities marking the 2022 Nigerian Civil Service Day Celebration, President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, launched the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan, FCSSIP and the culture change video at the banquet hall, State House, Abuja.

The strategy and video are meant for use in the improvement of service delivery to Nigerians.

Represented by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, President Buhari commended civil servants for their dedication to duty, noting that his government will continue to explore ways to improve the living conditions of workers on its payroll.

The new strategy which covers 2021-2025 is aimed at breaking away from the old model to a new paradigm of productive, result-driven, world-class civil service for accelerated national development.

In his address, President Buhari said the reform initiatives of his administration are already bearing fruits, adding that of paramount importance to government is a civil service committed to efficient and effective management of scarce resources.

He said: “I have had a rare privilege of working with the Nigerian civil service, at the closest and innermost quarters for the large part of my sojourn in public service and had witnessed a formidable and strong public service, which we began to see gradually, loose its relevance in the country.

“This gradual decline is what propelled me to provide all the necessary support to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in under-taking very innovative and far-reaching reforms that is gradually showing signs of bearing the desired fruits.

“Government will be delighted to have a civil service desirous of improving its ability to drive national development through the recommendation of appropriate policies that would enhance the implementation of government programmes.

“I must commend the present crop of civil servants who have fared well in driving the implementation of government programmes as the engine room of government activities. In spite of the difficult economic situation the country is passing through at the moment, you have continued to support the government in our efforts to bring dividends of democracy to the populace.

“I want to specially appreciate your commitment and dedication during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic during which your professionalism contributed significantly to contain the spread of the virus to the wonder of the global community. I however urge you to continue to adhere to the Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention measures and be careful as the virus is still very much around us, hence the need not to let our guards down yet.”

The President also tasked civil servants to be “visionary, innovative, creative, technologically driven, purposeful and result oriented,” in their service to their fatherland.

He reiterated his commitment to the total development of the service saying, “the Nigerian government will spare no effort aimed at improving the competencies of officers in the civil service through training and re-training of staff by the system.

“Opportunities will also be created for individuals to develop according to their personal needs, attributes and talents.”

President Buhari also revealed plans for harmonization of workers’ salaries saying, “this administration is working towards improving the value proposition of the civil service. Accordingly, I have set up the Presidential Committee on salaries to harmonize salaries service-wide. It is my hope that the outcome of the committee’s work will provide the impetus for an upward review of the salaries of deserving civil servants, having recently increased the Duty Tour Allowance of all civil servants as a starting point.”

Earlier in her welcome remarks, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan said the theme of this year’s celebration, “Performance Management System (PMS): Impact on Productivity in the Nigerian Public Service,” was adopted globally as “an innovative way of not only getting more work done efficiently and effectively, but also ensuring an objective way of measuring performance.

She continued: “This is why far-reaching efforts are being made in the Nigeria Civil Service to replace the subjective Annual Performance Evaluation Report, APER, with PMS. Hence, the choice of the theme is informed by the need for us to highlight the importance of Performance Management System and galvanize action towards its emplacement in the service.”

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