Leader and founder of the Big Tent Coalition for the Peter Obi-Datti Baba-Ahmed Presidential Campaign Council of the Labour Party, Prof Pat Utomi yesterday explained that if eventually voted in, Obi’s government will focus extensively on improving and rejuvenating the nation’s civil service as a strategic component of the needed reforms.
Utomi spoke in Abuja at an interactive forum, as part of events to unveil the campaign manifesto of the Obi/Yusuf Presidential Campaign where he harped on the importance of the civil service in delivering the Obi/Yusuf mandate to the Nigerian people from May 2023.
According to Utomi, the essence of focusing on the public service was very strategic as without the buy-in of the public servants, strategic policies, campaign manifestos and ideas of politicians always turn out to fruitless ventures, due to lack of an enabling mechanism.
“We are focusing on the civil service because we want to be deliberate about those who are making the promises; the implementation ability of those promises, taking the Nigerian people as the focal point.
“The Obi/Yusuf manifesto team consists of shadow teams, focal persons and it is a living document which we can change tomorrow. If knowledge changes tomorrow, we can change it also. We need to have value, we need to bring the strategic trust in the public service” Utomi added.
The founder of Big Tent observed that the imperative of having the civil service as the driving force is hinged on “what the public service can implement – a role of the civil service that can implement the manifesto.
“This manifesto is a product of over forty (40) highly placed professionals, with gratitude to ordinary people – people that have stood up to say we need to change things in Nigeria” adding that: “the quality of performance of a government is about the quality of the civil service.
“What kind of civil service do we need to be able to deliver the deliverables of the Obi/Yusuf manifesto using the public service as a key and strategic partner in meeting the target goals?” Utomi asked.
Utomi further argued that it was erroneous to maintain that Nigerian civil service was over bloated. Citing the United Kingdom (UK) with a population of 60 million and a civil service population of 5 million, Nigeria with a population of 200 million cannot be said to have too many people in the civil service with the same 5 million civil service population.
Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Joe Keshi also made presentation on how much the country has deteriorated and collapsed in recent years.
Keshi also tasked Nigerians on the need to queue behind the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign to rescue Nigeria from the precipice, failure of which will spell doom for the country.