The Federal Government has pledged to provide laptops and housing loans to 118 graduates of the Leadership Enhancement and Development Programme (Lead-P), after successful completion of the Programme.
The Head of the Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, made the disclosure at the graduation ceremony of the participants on Tuesday in Abuja.
This is even as she regretted that out of 123 candidates that participated in the Programme, while 118 graduated, four others pulled out with no explanations, one died few days to the day of graduation, adding that a report of their action was being prepared to be sent to their respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Yemi-Esan said the Lead-P training had a goal of cultivating hundred officers on salary grade levels 10 to 14 annually, meant to produce the next generation of leaders in the Federal Civil Service.
According to her, the programme is the key component of the first pillar of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) 2021 to 2025, for capacity building and talent management of public servants to improve the nation’s civil service.
“This priority of this initiative is geared towards addressing the need to strengthen and reinvigorating the civil service workforce through well structured and sustainable capacity building programmes.
“It is therefore, quite elating to observe that today’s graduation ceremony is symbolic of the progress recorded towards the full implementation of that aspect of the FCSSIP,” Yemi-Esan said.
The Head of Service, however, used the opportunity to announce the Federal Government’s determination to enhance the working conditions of the graduands with the provision of work tools including laptops and immediate releasing of resources for their housing loans.
“I will like to use this opportunity to inform you that the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has started arrangement to ensure that each one of the 118 of you gets laptops to enhance your work.
“Also, I will like to inform you that the Federal Government Staff Housing Loan Board has set aside resources to grant immediate housing loan to all of you,” she said.
Speaking also, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, commended Yemi-Esan for her laudable initiative, saying leadership development for effective succession planning had, over time, remained the bane of the civil service.
According to him, this underscores the need to equip officers appropriately with such laudable programmes, in view of the fact the Public Service of any nation, in all its bureaucratic complexity, has aptly been described as the engine of government.
He said: “This demonstrates the fact that public servants must have the capacity to support fast-moving political agendas, manage and transform vast public organisations, motivate and inspire their workforce and be trusted partners to citizens and an ever-growing list of development partners and stakeholders.”
According to Mustapha, the reform in the nation’s civil service has made a remarkable impact especially during the COVID-19 pandemic period.
“Globally, we saw how effective public service leaders rose to the challenge of COVID-19, leveraging new technologies and managing their workforces in innovative ways to protect their well being, while maintaining and boosting the delivery of essential services.
“Daunting though it may have been, there is no gainsaying the fact that the world including Nigeria has risen to the challenge,” SGF remarked.
President of the Africa Initiative for Governance, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, assured that they are committed to working with the head of service and all other apparatus of government to support reforms that will transform the civil service.
He noted that every society has five key components to building the nation-state. There are political class, military, merchant class, the intellectuals which cover the academicians, religious rulers, civil society and the civil service.
According to him, nations including the US, Europe, China etc have agreed that the greatness of a nation-state will never be achieved without a strong civil service, hence the deliberate attempt to ensure the civil service is not lacking.
Aig-Imoukhuede said: “The capacity of the civil service is a key driver to the transformation of the nation. And it will take committed visionary, determined, civil servants of integrity to bring about change that this nation so desperately needs. That is why the investment in identifying and developing the next generation of civil service leaders and in equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to effect change is critical.
“The Lead-P Programme is a very major step in this direction. And I congratulate the head of service and your team who have worked so hard to deliver this Programme and to strengthen the ranks of the civil service with this new breed of future leaders.”
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