The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR has assured the Nigerian Workers of better days ahead as the Federal Government is doing everything possible to cushion the effects of petroleum subsidy removal. She disclosed this in a virtual Interactive Session with a cross section of Civil Servants across all MDAs, within and outside the country, The virtual Session, held on Wednesday, was part of activities marking the 2023 Civil Service Week Celebrations.
Dr, Yemi-Esan, CFR, highlighted Government’s plans to improve the welfare of workers worsened by the present excruciating economic conditions, such as the introduction of a single salary scale for workers in Ministries, Extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which she said will be tied to productivity not profession; allowances, palliatives and subsidised transportation to cushion the effects, in the next few weeks.
The Head of Service further stressed on the issue of promotion arrears and timely release of Letters of Promotion to avoid accumulated years of promotion allowance. She insisted that yearly promotion processes should start and end within the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. She, as well urged MDAs to submit their requests for promotion arrears on time, so as to enable the OHCSF forward same.
Reiterating on one of the objectives of the Interactive Session, which is to get feedback from the Civil Servants on the ongoing transformation of the Service, Dr. Yemi-Esan also highlighted a number of impactful initiatives as captured under the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021- 2025 (FCSSIP 25). These include Induction, SMAT-P and LEAD-P, which were resuscitated to propel the Service to be capable of competing, favourably, with those of other climes.
Dr. Yemi-Esan, CFR, spoke extensively on digitalisation and Performance Management System (PMS), as key drivers of high productivity. She cited a number of ways the Office has been embracing digitalisation such as in training and examinations, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), verification and registration exercises for promotion examination, use of Official e-mail addresses, digitalisation of policy and personal files and many others.
Civil Servants were given ample opportunities to ask questions or make comments. Issues bordering on lack of working tools necessary to kick-start digitalisation and PMS from a Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace, Mr. Fajubi; the lack of alternative source of energy to power digitalisation by Mrs. Barisiku from the same Ministry; backlog of unpaid promotion arrears and the payment of first 28 days allowance from Mr. Azeez of the OHCSF and delay in the release of promotion results from Mr. Okorie Nicholas of the Ecological Project Office, amongst others, were raised and adequate responses and guarantees, given.
Other participants such as Mr. Adewale of the Accountant-General of the Federation, suggested for a shift from paper and physical promotion examination to conducting it online;
Mr. Ikechukwu from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development also suggested for a demo version of the PMS to other MDAs, who are still struggling to meet up, while Mr. Ladein from the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN) called on Civil Servants to take ownership of the various laudable initiatives through an altitudinal change and commended the OHCSF for its efforts in that direction. Participants left the Session satisfied and happy.
Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategic Office, Tpl. Oloruntola Olufemi, welcomed Civil Servants to the Interactive Session, as well as commended the efforts of every Civil Servant in the realisation of mandates.
In a Vote of Thanks, the Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office, OHCSF, Dr Marcus Ogunbiyi, in appreciating participants for a vibrant and rewarding engagement, expressed optimism that the Service is getting interesting with almost a thousand Civil Servants joining the virtual platform.
M .A. Ahmed,
28th July, 2023.