Unveiling Public Service Innovation

One of the eight (8) priority areas in the 2017–2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan, is to Drive Innovation in the Service. This is with the aim of developing a more innovative civil service for improved service delivery via dedicated innovation units and innovation challenges.

It can be  agreed that Nigeria’s civil service has great potentials for improvement. However, to unlock these potentials, we must first of all recognize the cardinal role innovation plays as a catalyst for positive change and development in any economy.

The urgent need to embrace innovation in the public sector can further be appreciated when one puts in retrospect the rapid pace with which innovative technologies are being proliferated deployed in private sector administration and which most organizations have leveraged to enhance their efficiency, transparency, performances and fortunes.

Therefore, it would be unbecoming of the public sector, which is expected to be the driver of the country’s socio-economic development to lag behind in this critical area. Hence, as policy makers we must all be future-oriented and adaptive to operational change so as to create value in delivery of services to Nigerians.

In addition, it is relevant to note that this initiative under the Federal Civil Service 2017-2020 Strategy Plan which is in sync with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is further aimed at cutting cost of governance and increasing revenue while providing social goods and services. Other benefits accruable from driving innovation in the service
include improved speed and quality of services as well as the provision of better, cheaper and more accessible services in the Public Sector.

In order to successfully build a robust foundation for innovation in the Public Service, the Head of Service Project Management Team on Innovation is embarking on the following:

  1. Establishment of a Service Innovation Department in the Office of the Head of Service to be headed by a Director and Service Innovation Units (SIUs) in all MDAs;
  2. Launch of an innovation campaign to raise awareness on innovation, create an online innovation network that showcases existing innovation in the Service to foster knowledge sharing
  3. Creation of innovation pipeline to encourage ideas and concepts through partnerships with innovative companies, workshops and secondments and launching in-house tools via brainstorming sessions and innovation boot camps; among others; and
  4. Launch of innovation competitions across MDAs. At least one annual innovation challenge will be held to cultivate ideas, technologies, and for enhanced service delivery, efficiency and productivity in the public service.

On a final note, let me reiterate that it is important for us to work collectively towards making the Service function better in order to guarantee the sustainable socio-economic development of Nigeria and a brighter future.