Home News NEWS ANALYSIS:Evolving efficient, incorruptible civil service

NEWS ANALYSIS:Evolving efficient, incorruptible civil service


By Emmanuel Mogbede

Unarguably, civil service is an integral part of democratic governance in which civil servants are required to ensure demeanour devoid of corrupt practices.

Observers, however, note that Public Service Commission is the buffer that separates the civil service from the political leadership and should protect it from undue interference from politicians.

According to them, civil servants also ought to be outstanding, truthful, diligent and dependable always, among other values.

Alluding to this viewpoint, some residents of Abuja who are civil servants observe that civil service is even fundamental to governance in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of government policies and programmes.

They, nonetheless, express concern that the Nigeria’s civil service is characterised by what they describe as administrative ineptitude, bureaucratic bottleneck and short supply of adequate personnel.

In separate interviews, they note that appropriate reforms in the service will guarantee a good platform for civil servants to perform their duties efficiently.

For instance, Mr Chidozie Okeke, a senior civil servant, alleged that politicians had introduced bribery and corruption in the service through undue interference.

“Some public servants await rewards for some obligations such as processing vouchers for payment and treating official files for a purpose, among others,’’ he observed.

In the same vein, Mrs Nwankego Obielum, a senior civil servant, said that at the grassroots, officials and administrators also demand gifts for rendering services.

A public analyst, Mr Rotimi Akande, noted that the civil service in the last two decades had been politicised.

He noted that it was worrisome that when officials were reported on corrupt practices, such officials, in most cases, were not punished.
[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]

“Beside this, absenteeism, redundancy, wastefulness, inefficiency, corruption and underperformance, among others, are part and parcel of our public service,’’ he alleged.

In apparent reaction to this, Mrs Winefred Oyo-Ita, Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, promised that she would revitalise the civil service.

According to her, it is pointless to talk about progress and development in all the sectors of the economy without reforming the civil service.

She promised to reinstate the integrity of the civil service by ensuring that all civil servants were efficient, productive, incorruptible and service-centered.

Speaking during an extraordinary meeting with federal permanent secretaries, she said that the civil service must be innovative and proactive.

She also noted that this could be achieved by devising strategies and action plans that would assist the government in addressing the current challenges facing the country.

Oyo-Ita explained that the government would provide cost-effective and affordable houses for various categories of federal civil servants as a means of boosting their morale and commitment.

She said that the housing programme — Federal Integrated Staff Housing– was designed to improve civil servants’ productivity and their quality of life during and after service.

The programme, she added, would motivate and equip civil servants to become efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen-centred.

She noted that civil servants were motivated by the provision of staff quarters in the past which accounted for their diligence, professionalism and high level of productivity.

“The fortune of civil servants in terms of decent accommodation is dwindling, following the abolition of such programme by successive governments,’’ she observed.

She said that government’s decided to address workers housing challenges because it “is the basic need and necessity in every society and a prerequisite for motivating workers.

“Efforts by previous administration to engage private developers to address the housing needs of civil servants did not yield positive result.

“This is especially so as civil servants could not afford modest accommodation at the market price charged by developers’’.

She urged the civil servants to brace up for a new dawn, stressing that time had come for innovation, efficiency and proactive attitudes to work for better service delivery.

“It is the collective responsibility of all officers in the service to protect the image of the service and ensure public confidence and trust in the system.

“The ethos of the new civil service will feature Efficiency, Productivity, Incorruptibility and Citizen-centered (EPIC),’’ she said.

She added that the service, under her leadership, would also expect enhanced performance with a definite structure for rewards and sanctions among workers.

Irrespective of incentives planned for civil servants for optimal performance, analysts insist that any credible civil service reform must guarantee cost effective, efficient and appropriate service to the people of Nigeria.(NANFeatures)

Previous articleI-G warns police officers against accessing individuals’ personal cell phones
Next articleGovt. converts LASU to residential, approves 70 years retirement age for professors

Leave a Reply