The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has said that the Federal Government would soon take the decision to recall civil servants working from home back to work.
Mustapha said this in Abuja on Wednesday at the 2021 commemoration of Public Service Day, organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), with the theme ”Building the Africa we want through the impact and value of Public Service Organisations to the Society.”
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services in the Office of the SGF, Maurice Mbaeri, Mustapha stressed that all issues that necessitated the work from home order have been addressed.
”You will all agree with me that the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged everyone, including governance and its operation.
”Nevertheless, the federal government is committed to building a public service that is capable, efficient, open, inclusive, and accountable institutions, which are critical for sustainable growth and inclusive national development after COVID-19.
”The federal government’s e-government master plan currently being implemented is innovation and technology pooled to deliver services.
”The e-government master plan is intended to equip public servants with skills necessary to be effective, responsive and relevant in the digital age.
”Therefore, I wish to use this medium to encourage all civil and public servants to carry out their roles with dedication and a commitment to the civil service and its core values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.
”I am glad to salute all public servants across the globe, especially our Nigerian patriotic public and civil servants whose contributions to the growth and development of our dear nation cannot be over emphasised,” he said.
Senator Ibrahim Shekarau identified some characteristics of effective public service as having a stable leadership structure which includes political leadership and leadership in the civil service structure.
Shekarau said that for effective public service, there must be identified vision or mission and objectives of the services through the formulation of policies.
”Appropriate planning is required for effective civil service and well spelt out schedules of duties, guardians and rules must guide the civil service.
”Identified sources of funding the services with judicious management of the funds, for effective public service, there must be accountability,” he said.
The Director-General, BPSR, Mr Ibrahim Arabi, said that the last decade brought about a digital revolution that changed the way we live, work, and govern.
According to Arabi, “technology and data-driven innovations have increased the pace of our daily life, opened up information and elevated civil society voices and changed how we solve problems, design policy and deliver services.
”In parallel, governments find themselves under resource pressures and increasing public demands, having to do much more, with less.
”The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic was a force multiplier to these trends, introducing remote work in government, digital service delivery, virtual service teams, and even new portfolios.
”The Africa continent had to catch up. else, she would be left behind. The public service and by extension public servants will serve as the tool that governments would use to sail these turbulent times.
”It is expected that this forum today would provide the needed platform to convey government policies that require the buy-in of critical stakeholders as we commemorate the 2021 UN Public Service Day.”
The Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Abdrafiu Adeniji, said that Nigeria must work assiduously to achieve SDG 8 that targets achievement of full and productive employment and decent work for men and women. including persons with disabilities.
Adeniji, however, called for massive employment for youths, reduced forced labour and principally protection of workers rights in the public service.
”Also, the need for new recruitment and training and retraining of public servants to acquire knowledge and skills that will make them competitive and productive in the contemporary times,” he said.