It is a great pleasure to be here today, and to present this keynote address to kick start our Service- Wide capacity building workshop on Performance Management System for officers in the Nigerian Public Service.
2. As you are aware, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in collaboration with its development partners has been working assiduously to implement a number of flagship programmes and policy initiatives to evolve a globally competent, efficient and competitive workforce of contemporary times and beyond. Consequently, this cardinal vision informed our ongoing transition from the inherently weak and paper-based Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER) to a digitally driven Culture of Performance management.
3. It is pertinent to point out that globally, the annual performance review system has become obsolete in the human resource management space for quite some time now. In 2016, the Harvard Business Review, reported a rising performance management revolution. It stated that traditional performance appraisals had been abandoned by more than a third of U.S. companies.
4. According to the publication, the annual review’s biggest limitation is its emphasis on holding employees accountable for what they did in the previous year, at the expense of improving performance now and in the future. Hence, many organizations were moving to more-frequent, development-focused conversations between managers and employees.
5. In the same vein, Price Waterhouse Coopers in an August 2019 publication, noted that, managing both organizational and employee performance, facilitates the effective delivery of strategic and operational goals. The organization believes that there is a clear and immediate correlation between performance management, improved business and organizational results.
6. Furthermore, the rapidly changing global business environment underscores a shift in the status quo to a more modern and effective approach for achieving employee and organizational goals.
7. Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen, institutionalizing PMS is one of the key building blocks for repositioning the Public Service. The new Performance Management System is anchored on the principles of accountability, transparency, equity, and ownership and when fully operational, every individual, Unit, Department, and Institution in the Public Service would be held accountable on a continuous basis, to ensure that national development goals are achieved.
8. As you may recall, the first batch of this training exercise took place here from 17th – 19th August, 2020 for officers in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. At that maiden exercise, participants were trained on how to set job objectives in order to achieve organizational goals. As a follow- up to that training, and as I informed during my recent virtual interaction with civil servants, the Office will ensure the full participation of other MDAs of government so as to ensure that the objectives and benefits of the workshop are cascaded service wide.
9. The aim of this workshop, therefore, is to acquaint participants with the requisite knowledge and skills in Job Objectives Setting, Performance Appraisal and Rewards System, which are vital parts of the Performance Management System (PMS) that would eventually replace the Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER) currently used.
10. You will agree with me that though APER was designed to foster and reward high performance at the institutional and individual levels, there are no clearly defined national performance measures for public understanding of service delivery outcomes which is the basis for the introduction of the new PMS. Moreover, the existing evaluation system has not been able to incorporate strategic goals and objectives in setting institutional and individual targets. Thus, the targets set by the current APER are not clearly linked to Institutional and Departmental mandates.
11. Ideally, an effective performance evaluation tool should have some key elements which include accuracy and fairness; efficiency; the capability of promoting performance; and the use of multiple data sources for performance evaluation.
12. With regard to the aforementioned, we embarked on the development of a draft PMS Policy, Template and Guidelines. Work on the document is ongoing and has reached an advanced stage. This document is key towards institutionalizing PMS and we are presently fine-tuning its contents.
13. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the inevitability of this system becomes more imminent, particularly in view of the complexity of our increased responsibilities coupled with dwindling financial resources following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, there is no gainsaying that we must brace ourselves for the rapid changes at hand so as to leave up to our mandate of effectively delivering on Government’s policies and programmes.
14. Thus, this workshop presents a golden opportunity for us to rededicate towards adding value to the work we do and to be of better service to the nation and to develop our individual and institutional capacities with the aim of remaining globally competitive and sustaining our role as the engine room of national development. By implication, we must remain proactive and continue to put in place structures and mechanisms to ensure improved and seamless running of government business and overall enhanced performance.
15. Dear participants, at the end of this workshop, it is therefore expected that you will become more knowledgeable in setting employee Key Results Areas (KRAs) and Objectives; manage the attainment of targets through effective monitoring; identify skill gaps; and develop requirements to build relevant competencies.
16. I further enjoin you to pay rapt attention and fully participate by contributing meaningfully to the success of this programme. I also expect that at the end of the training, you would leave the PSIN more equipped and ready to apply all you have learnt to your various schedules. On its part, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation remains determined and committed to capacity building of civil servants through training and re-training of officers for the holistic implementation of government policies and programmes, and for national development. This we will sustain by identifying and fostering strong alliances with relevant stakeholders and our development partners.
17. On that note, permit me to appreciate our partners particularly the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) whom have been supporting this project. I am confident that, the new PMS when institutionalized, will serve as a vehicle for the actualization of national goals, build competencies and capabilities of Public Servants through the identification of knowledge and skill gaps; institutionalize performance based culture that enables recognition and reward of high performance within the Federal Public Service; and ensure effective measurement and outcomes of performance at all levels in the Nigerian Public Service.
18. Permit me to also welcome all resource persons lined up for this workshop whom I am confident will do justice to all the modules. I wish to thank every participant for their attendance just as I wish you fruitful outcomes from this training.
19. Now, I have the honour to declare this 3-day Service- Wide Workshop on Performance Management System open to the glory of God.
20. Thank you and God bless you all.