I am pleased to welcome you to this Retreat organized for members of the Project Management Teams for the implementation of the 2017 – 2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan developed by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to reposition the Service for better performance. I wish to thank you all for your commitment to participate in this Retreat which is a step in the right direction towards ensuring that the aspirations and the visions of the current Administration as articulated in the 2017 – 2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan are successfully actualized.

  2.    Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that in order to reposition the Nigerian Federal Public Service as an effective machinery of government for improved service delivery, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) under my humble leadership and in line with the current Administration’s Change Mantra and Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020, charted a new course for the service intended to make the service Efficient, Productive, Incorruptible and Citizen-centred (EPIC). The new trajectory for the civil service after engagements with several relevant stakeholders culminated in the 2017 – 2020 Strategy of the OHCSF which was launched in February, 2017. The strategy anchored on four goals, is in tandem with the Pillar Four (4) of the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms (NSPSR) which is focused on Civil Service Administration Reforms. The goals of the Strategy which have clearly defined objectives and initiatives include the following:

          i.        Develop and institutionalize an Efficient, Productive, Incorruptible and Citizen-Centred (EPIC) Culture in the Civil Service;

          ii.       Develop and implement an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) System;

          iii.      Develop Entrepreneurship Culture and Commercial Orientation in the Civil Service;

          iv.      Improve Welfare and benefit packages for Civil Service.

3.       It is pertinent to note that the EPIC culture is to build upon the core values of the service which are meritocracy, transparency, professionalism, anonymity, integrity, discipline, impartiality, political neutrality, patriotism, and accountability. This goal will engender the transition to a world-class civil service with positive attitudes, requisite skills, productive and highly motivated workforce. There are established extant rules and regulations that serve as internal control mechanisms in the civil service that need to be strengthened and enforced. These include public service rules, financial regulations, prepayment audit, treasury inspectorate, compliance with circulars, laws and the Nigerian constitution.  


4.       You may recall that the OHCSF received a Presidential intervention following the launch of the strategy in February 2017 that culminated in OHCSF signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) which is an indigenous donor to support the implementation of the Strategy. The OHCSF received the support of AIG through the engagement of the services of McKinsey & Company to work with the OHCSF to develop a clear communicable action plan for transforming the Nigeria Federal Civil Service by building on the 2017–2020 OHCSF Strategic plan with the following deliverables:

i.       Developing a clear, actionable and communicable roadmap/action plan to jumpstart and drive a determined, sincere and powerful transformation of the Nigerian Civil Service;

ii.     Investigating past reform/transformation effort failures and incorporating lessons-learned from such investigation, as well as best practice civil service transformation strategies, within the current effort/plan;

iii.  Developing a set of recommendations that provides for continuity of the transformation plan implementation post-2020;

iv.  Leveraging private sector resources and support, to facilitate implementation; and

v.     Detailed implementation plan to roll out the priority interventions, estimated cost and impact with clear assignment of owners and Key Performance indicators (KPIs).


5.       This intervention as you already know gave rise to 2017 – 2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan with a number of characteristics which has increased the likelihood of success relative to previous reform attempts (Some of these past reform attempts were discussed a while ago as preamble to this address). These characteristics include:

i.                   high impact prioritization of initiatives;

ii.                 specificity with actionable and detailed implementation plan;

iii.              clear governance to drive reforms;

iv.              partnerships for resources to support implementation; and

v.                 Change management as well as communication plan.

4.       This document which was reviewed at various levels got approved by FEC on 12th July, 2017 with the following 8 priority areas identified and selected based on their potential for impact in the short term and their relevance to the ERGP implementation roles of the OHCSF:

                   i.            Re-design and re-launch 3 core-training modules including Leadership Enhancement and Development Programme (LEAD-P) as a top talent programme and identify a ‘LEAD-P Presidential Cohort’ to cultivate as next generation of leaders in service;

                 ii.            Launch a strategic sourcing of identified skills to bring in external talent at senior levels to drive high-level impact;

              iii.            Institutionalize performance management by finalizing the performance management system, piloting tools and introducing non-monetary recognition;

              iv.            Launch a salary review of the civil service as a first step to enhance the value proposition of civil servants;

                 v.            Drive innovation in service by establishing Public Service innovation unit within the OHCSF and launching an Innovation Challenge towards reducing cost of governance and increasing revenue generation;

              vi.            Launch an EPIC culture transformation of the civil service;

            vii.            Accelerate roll-out of the full implementation of Integrated Personnel and Pay Roll Information System (IPPIS) Human Resource module; and

         viii.            Establish an enterprise content management solution to digitize content.

5.       You will recall that eight (8) Project Management Teams were constituted and inaugurated on 7th December, 2017 and together with the relevant private sector champions are expected to facilitate and drive day to day implementation of the eight (8) priority areas of the 2017 – 2020 FCSSIP.  The PMTs as you already know were constituted along the 8 priority initiatives and include the following:

          i.        Capacity Development & Training;
          ii.       Talent Sourcing;
          iii.      Performance Management;
          iv.      Staff Welfare;
          v.       Culture Change;
          vi.      Innovation;
          vii.     Integrated Personnel and Pay Roll Information System (IPPIS); and
          viii.    Civil Service Automation.

6.       It is important to re-emphasized that the implementation of the Strategy is expected to deliver N60-120bn savings from cleaning HR data on IPPIS, N2.5bn annual savings from digitizing content, at least 25,000 civil servants trained through revamped core modules, at least 200 future leaders cultivated through LEAD-P, 25 Ministries with performance management system tools, routines, and dialogues to drive results based performance, and at least 3 annual innovation challenges held to cultivate ideas, technologies, and ventures for enhanced service delivery, efficiency and productivity in the public service. The outcomes of the Strategy will include : 

i.       Improved staff competencies and skills through well targeted and funded programs across all grade levels; LEAD-P presidential cohort provided with resources, mentorship, and opportunities to succeed as future leaders;

ii.     Results based performance and meritocratic environment for civil servants with clarity on metrics (e.g., individual KPIs) and link to incentives (monetary and non-monetary);

iii.  Clear career path value proposition (i.e., training, benefits, salary) that retains top talent;

iv.  Cohort of senior external experts providing high-impact support;

v.     A more innovative civil service that brings in innovation from within and outside the service to improve service delivery via dedicated innovation unit and innovation challenges;

vi.  Values driven civil service with civil servants that are ‘Efficient, Productive, Incorruptible and Citizen-centered’ (EPIC);

vii.            Improved productivity and governance for HR administration across all HR processes (e.g., payroll transfers, promotions, recruitment, training) with full transparency on civil and public servants in the system; and

viii.         Improved enterprise content management with digitized records, automated workflow and overall improvement in sharing information and collaboration across the Service


7.       Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you will agree with me that this Retreat is very crucial to the successful of the FCSSIP, and therefore, has been strategically designed to equip members of the PMTs with the requisite skills and knowledge to deliver on/actualize these expected outcomes. This is the reason we have indeed invited notable Resource Persons with expertise and vast experience in diverse areas relevant to the success of the PMTs, including motivational speaking. I want to emphasize that the topics and exercises for the Retreat have been carefully chosen and packaged to set the direction for successful implementation of the Strategy by the 8 PMTs.


8.       I want to use this opportunity to thank AIG for their support as our major implementation partner and channel for engaging private sector reforms champions. I wish to especially thank Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Founder & Chairman, AIG for his laudable role and current support towards reforming the Federal Civil/Public Service. AIG once again, following my request, engaged the services of McKinsey & Co to support the actualization of this retreat. I also wish to extend my appreciations to the Resource Persons for making out time to share their expertise with members of the PMTs at this important Retreat.  I am very pleased with the presence of Edo State Head of Service at this event. This is in a bid to foster Federal – Subnational collaboration towards strengthening the Nigeria Civil Service.

9.       Ladies and gentlemen, the current public service reform initiative by OHCSF is timely and laudable considering the current administration’s commitment towards repositioning the public service sector for better performance and to provide high quality services to Nigerians and foreign investors alike. The success of the implementation of the FCSSIP 2017-2020 among others squarely depends on the commitments and diligence on the part of the various members of the Project Management Teams. The commitment of all PMTs members towards successful implementation of the Strategy will therefore be taken seriously. As such, all members of the PMTs will during this Retreat sign up commitment for active participation with a view to ensuring successful delivery of the project’s set goals. As a first step, this retreat will be followed immediately with Service-wide sensitization on the FCSSIP beginning with the Directorate level officers. Also, as part of the implementation plan, you will before leaving this retreat firm up your first 100 days plan of implementation. I want to remind you that there is a great task ahead which begins now and your selection to serve on this team was based on our trust and belief in your capabilities to deliver the desired result. So, let’s do it.

10. On this note, I hereby declare the Retreat open and encourage you to enjoy the hospitality of the good people of Cross River State.


11.     Thank you all and God bless.