2021 Civil Service Week: HOS Yemi-Esan highlights activities, programs and achievements of Buhari administration’s through her office

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” Towards the service-wide development of Standard Operating Procedures, the Office approved the commencement of a pilot phase involving four MDAs, namely: The Federal Civil Service Commission, State House, Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.”
EXCERPTS FROM TEXT OF THE MEDIA BRIEFING HOSTED BY DR. FOLASADE YEMI-ESAN, HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE FEDERATION, TO COMMEMORATE THE YEAR 2021 NIGERIA CIVIL SERVICE WEEK HELD ON THURSDAY 24TH JUNE, 2021, IN ABUJA
By way of history, the first Pan-African Conference of Ministers of Civil Service, held in Tangier, Morocco in 1994 and resolved to earmark June 23rd annually as Africa Public Service Day. This also coincides with the United Nations Public Service Day. The objective of setting aside a special day for the Public Service is to celebrate: “the values and virtues of the Service to the Community”.

The Theme of this year’s celebration is “Building the Africa we want through embracing an African culture that underpins purpose-driven leadership in the face of crisis”. The rationale behind this theme is premised on the African Union’s aspirations as stipulated in Agenda 2063 whereby Africans desire to build a continent that puts its citizens at the center of all programs and projects. Accordingly, two of the seven pillars of Africa Agenda 2063 envisions an Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics, an Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children.

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Furthermore, the 2021 continental Africa Public Service Day has the following sub-themes which I must be quick to 3 point out, are very apt as they align with our current drive in Nigeria towards the attainment of the Civil Service of our dreams. The sub-themes are: i. Celebrating the contribution of the Public Servant; a story of courage and resilience in the management of COVID-19 Pandemic; ii. Embracing cultural diversity as a lever to strengthen institutions for a responsive and ethical public administration; iii. Deploying technology to sustain and enhance service delivery in the face of this challenging COVID-19 pandemic climate; and iv. Achieving inclusivity through harnessing Arts and Culture as instruments to inform, market and build demand side capacity for effective and efficient service. In view of the rapid changes occurring globally, we in Nigeria have decided to refocus and transform the civil service to a modern and technologically driven institution that can seamlessly deliver services to citizens.

Today’s briefing provides an opportunity to highlight some of the modest activities, programmes and achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari – led Administration through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

THE NIGERIA CIVIL SERVICE AMIDST COVID-19

In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, digital channels became more central to most interactions. Consequently, it has become expedient for the Nigeria Civil Service to accelerate the digitalisation of its processes to enable it continue to function effectively as the backbone of government within the new normal. This necessitated proactive steps taken by the Office to ensure that work goes on and services are still rendered to the public. Hence, the Office of the Head of Service initiated the following:

a. The putting in place of necessary mechanisms to promote remote work;

b. Building platforms for community engagement, ownership and public feedback;

c. Building a conducive workplace environment for the protection of workers through relevant policies and actions; e.g the development and approval of policy on virtual engagements approved by the Federal Executive Council;

d. Promoting new values, education, innovation and productivity in the public service;

and;

e. Ensuring the effectiveness of our social insurance system among others.

Consequent upon the aforementioned, and arising from the need and desire of the Federal Government to ensure the improved and seamless running of government business, the following programmes and activities have been embarked upon.

DIGITALISATION PROJECT Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Solution

Our flagship Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Solution is a key reform initiative which among other objectives aims to: i. Digitize records in the Federal Civil Service; ii. Automate workflow to ensure a departure from manual processes; iii. Facilitate ease in the storage and retrieval of records; iv. Improve information sharing and synergy across MDAs; v. Facilitate improved Service Delivery; and vi. Reduce cost of governance.

In furtherance of the implementation of the projects, a number of actions have been taken to drive its 6 implementation. It is important to state that the implementation of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Solution is being done in collaboration with our private sector partner, the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG). Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Service-wide Rollout Plan

The development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is a major and fundamental step towards the successful implementation of ECMS. Accordingly, SOPs have been developed for all 26 Departments in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation through a thorough process aimed at assisting officers understand and document their business processes which is a prerequisite for digitalization. The work was carried out by our very dedicated officers and the AIG team who championed and facilitated the creation of the SOPs.

Towards the service-wide development of Standard Operating Procedures, the Office approved the commencement of a pilot phase involving four MDAs, namely: The Federal Civil Service Commission, State House, Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. This phase also involves training and cataloguing which have been completed in the four MDAs mentioned above. The next stage is the verification/sign-off workshops which will soon commence. The rollout exercise is expected to continue in other MDAs once the exercise in the four pilot MDAs is completed. 7 ISO Certification

The Office of the Head of Service and SERVICOM are collaborating to make SOPs serve as KPIs for assessing the compliance of MDAs to service delivery standards. In this direction, selected officers, one each from the various Departments in the OHCSF and staff of SERVICOM have undergone a 3-day virtual training on SOPs sponsored by AIG and Access Bank. Furthermore, plans are also being finalized to commence the ISO 9001/2015 Certification training for both staff of the Office and SERVICOM.

In this regard, Access Bank Plc has also offered to sponsor two Officers to undertake a two-week internship programme at the Bank on the Management of SOPs, Key Performance Indicators, Process workflows, Technology and Governance. It is our plan that the best two Officers from the ISO Certification training will be selected to undergo the internship programme at Access Bank.

CAPACITY BUILDING Induction

A total of 1,751 Officers on Salary Grade Levels 7-10 have been inducted from 2019 till date at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN). We are currently strategizing to develop a virtual platform to fast track the training of backlog of officers. 8 Structured Mandatory Assessment- Based Training Programme (SMAT-P)

1,546 Officers have been trained between 2019 to date, including 159 officers trained by virtual means in March this year (2021). We are currently assessing the level of infrastructure at the MDAs level in order to facilitate the roll-out of the second phase of the virtual training. Leadership Enhancement and Development Programme (LEAD-P)

Under the programme, as at April 2021 four stages of the selection process have been concluded with 123 candidates selected. In addition, LEAD-P Guidelines have been developed and approved, while LEAD-P Training Modules are being updated to include new areas in readiness for the commencement of the training in July 2021. Training for Conversion to Planning Cadre

In our bid to reinforce the Planning Officer Cadre in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), the Office has concluded the Selection of candidates with the total number of 253 candidates selected in June, 2021. Training modules (13 of them) have been developed and are currently being reviewed by a module review Committee chaired by a retired Permanent Secretary.

Hence, the three-month training organized by NISER in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Service is to commence on the 5th of July, 2021 at the PSIN. Co-ordination of MDA’s Training Programmes

MDAs have defended their 2021 training proposals where we expect about 66,000 Officers to be trained. MDAs are expected to render annual reports on their training activities to this Office. Media Training for Permanent Secretaries

Further on the area of capacity building, the Office in collaboration with Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) organized Media Training for Permanent Secretaries which was successfully held on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th May, 2021 in Abuja. The training was aimed at Equipping Permanent Secretaries with relevant techniques and skills needed to relate effectively with the media.

INTEGRATED PERSONNEL AND PAYROLL INFORMATION SYSTEM (IPPIS) HR Module

As at 31st January, 2021, a total number of 559 MDAs with 390,676 employees have been captured on the IPPIS Platform. This figure excludes the Army, Para-Military, Police and Universities. Accordingly, several activities have been initiated and carried out by the Office towards driving, implementing and deployment of the Human Resource module of IPPIS. The HR component of IPPIS is critical because it is the basis on which the other modules, especially the payroll module revolve. All staff in the core Ministries have been verified and enrolled unto the IPPIS Platform, which implies that the core staff can utilize the self-service components to generate payslips and apply for leave, etc.

With full deployment of the HR Module of IPPIS, human error would be minimized through streamlined data, cost reduced based on available accurate data, financial and manpower resources efficiently and effectively utilized and planned for; while storage of data collected on employees of the Federal Public Service is secure and only accessible to authorized officers. 11 Committee on the Enrolment of New Employees unto the IPPIS Platform

In an effort to eliminate irregularities and fraud perpetrated on the IPPIS; as well as to purge the system of all forms of infiltrations into the service, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation inaugurated a Committee on the Enrolment of New Employees unto the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) platform on 1st March, 2021. The Committee had its inaugural meeting on 1st March, 2021 and has been meeting. As at 23rd June, 2021, the Committee has been able to authenticate and payroll: i. 92 Presidential Awardees; ii. 17 Junior Officers recruited in the Office of the Head of Civil of the Federation, and iii. 115 out of the 120 Junior Officers recruited by the Federal Ministry of Labour.

UPDATE ON PMS IMPLEMENTATION IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE (JOB OBJECTIVES SETTING TRAINING AND HAND-HOLDING EXERCISE)

In an effort to implement performance management system in the Public service, it became imperative to put in place enabling building blocks to ensure a hitch free implementation of the globally recognized system. One of 12 such, is setting job objectives for every public servant. In doing this, a training on job objectives setting was conducted for one thousand, six hundred and three (1,603) civil servants selected from forty-two (42) Ministries, Departments and agencies (MDAs). The training began in August, 2020 and ended on 17th March, 2021.

The training was conducted by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and facilitated by the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN). The main objectives of the training were to: i. train potential PMS trainers on job objective setting; ii. impart civil servants with knowledge and skills on job objective setting; and iii. ensure that every staff in the Federal Public service has a set of objectives upon which their performance would be measured and assessed.

At the end of the training, MDAs were requested to set job objectives for their employees and forward same to the OHCSF. Further to the workshop, the next stage is the handholding of MDAs in the use of the Performance 13 Management System tools. The exercise is being piloted in the following five MDAs: i. Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), ii. State House, iii. Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, iv. Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and v. Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

In order to ensure procedural fairness of the PMS, improved operational efficiency, transparency and accountability, the Performance Management System will be automated. To this end, discussions are on-going with solution providers.

REVIEW OF PUBLIC SERVICE RULES/ SCHEMES OF SERVICE

The Public Service Rules (PSR) was last reviewed in the year 2008 making most of its provisions obsolete. Current strategies in public Service such as the Performance Management System (PMS), Virtual Meetings, as well as Talent Sourcing have been included in the Draft PSR. The 14 Office in the last one year has finalized the review of the PSR and it has presented to the 2020 National Council on Establishment (NCE) in Lagos which approved the revised document in principle. The Office has produced the final draft for onward transmission to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

Similarly, the Schemes of Service is currently undergoing review and is planned for presentation at the next NCE Meeting scheduled for December 2021.

SERVICE WELFARE PROGRAMMES/ACTIVITIES

The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has been working assiduously through its Service Welfare Office to improve on the welfare of Civil Servants Service Wide. Consequently, the following activities have been initiated.

FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMME:

The Head of Service of the Federation approved the overhaul of the Pre-Retirement Training Scheme to include Agribusiness for serving Officers. The erstwhile scheme has been upgraded into a programme comprising two schemes as follows: A.Agripreneurship Start-Up Scheme (for serving Officers) B. Pre-Retirement Training & Business Start-up Scheme (for prospective retirees) Agripreneurship Start-Up Scheme (for serving Officers)

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the implementation of the Scheme has been signed between the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN). Two (2) Committees have been inaugurated to drive the smooth implementation of the Programme. These are: the Project Steering Committee and the Project Implementation Committee.

In order to elicit a Service-wide buy-in of the Programme, a Sensitization Workshop was organized for Directors, Human Resource Management, Deputy Directors, Staff Welfare & Training and Union Leaders. In preparation for the immediate take-off of the Programme, a Service-wide Circular has been issued for the enrollment of prospective participants. A formal launch of the Programme will come up in due course. 16 Pre-Retirement Training & Business Start-up Scheme (for prospective retirees)

The Pre-Retirement Training Scheme is for Officers preparing for Mandatory Retirement and the proposed Voluntary Retirement Scheme. The training workshop and mandatory internship is to be conducted during the Officer’s Pre-Retirement Leave. Necessary arrangements are in place for the take off the Scheme.

PAYMENT OF BACKLOG OF DEATH BENEFITS:

Following the release of N2.5billion to pay back log of death benefits to the next of kin of deceased officers, as at today the sum of N2, 468, 094,063.08 has been expended to settle 594 beneficiaries. The balance will be paid to other beneficiaries once the Office receives the requisite banks’ attestation.

PROVISION OF YEAR 2020 GROUP LIFE ASSURANCE (GLA) COVER FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND PROCUREMENT FOR YEAR 2021/2022:

The Federal Government through the Office of the Head of Service has provided Group Life Assurance Cover for Federal Government employees in 48 MDAs for the year 2021/2022 through the FEC approval of a total sum of N9, 248,995,907.31 as premium to be handled by 15 17 underwriters. This is part of Government’s commitment in catering for the welfare of its workers. The Group Life Assurance Scheme covers all Federal Government employees who draw salary from the Federal Treasury including the paramilitary such as Immigration, Civil Defence, Fire Service, Correctional Service, Road Safety, NDLEA etc. In the event of the unfortunate demise of an employee, nextof-kin are entitled to three times the emolument of the deceased. Arrangements are on-going to ensure the immediate commencement of the 2021/2022 Policy.

FEDERAL INTEGRATED STAFF HOUSING (FISH) PROGRAMME

 The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has taken renewed steps towards the accelerated implementation of the FISH Programme. Part of these steps include: § Resuscitation of the FISH Inter-Ministerial Implementation Committee to drive the implementation of the Programme. § Acquisition of Land for the FISH Programme. About five (5) hectares of land was allocated by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMW&H) to the FISH Programme in Gwagwalada, FCT. Further allocations are being expected from the FMW&H and the Federal Capital Territory Administration. 18 § Provision of Infrastructure within FISH Estates: As cost cutting measure to enhance housing affordability for civil servants, OHCSF is engaging with relevant Government Agencies for the provision of infrastructure/facilities such as roads, electricity and water supply, etc. § From year 2020 to date, about One Hundred Thirty-nine (139) off-takers have allocated houses under the FISH Programme. § Commissioning of FISH Estates: The Head of Civil Service of the Federation is scheduled to commission two (2) Estates under the FISH Programme. These are i. AB Brainy Technocrats Estate, Mararaba (18 off-takers) ii. The Solutionist Estate, Karshi (54 off-takers) Resuscitation of the Federal Civil Service Clubs:

The Office has completed the renovation of the Federal Civil Service Club, Yaba, Lagos. This is a first stage of the rehabilitation of the Federal Civil Service Clubs nationwide.

The Office has also reviewed the Constitution and developed Operational Guidelines for the Federal Civil Service Clubs. This effort is to reposition the Clubs for enhanced performance and service delivery.

RENOVATION WORKS AT THE FEDERAL SECRETARIAT COMPLEX [PHASES 1,2 & 3], ABUJA

The dilapidated state of the Federal Secretariat complexes caused the Office to take proactive steps to salvage the situation. Sequel to the initial intervention by the office, the Federal Capital Territory Administration is to continue with the works carried out by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation following the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the rehabilitation of phase I of the Federal Secretariat, which involves electromechanical systems, water systems as well as other general rehabilitation.

However, the Office is presently undertaking intensive Sanitation, Disinfection and Rehabilitation works at phases 2 and 3 of the Federal Secretariat. These include cleaning, upgrading of electrical fittings.

DEVELOPMENT OF FCSSIP SUCCESSOR PLAN (2021-2025)

Consequent upon the elapse of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) 2017 – 2020, the Office has since commenced the development of a successor plan for the period 2021 – 2025 and which is being subjected to stakeholders’ input. The successor plan will be synchronized with the Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) and Agenda 2050 of the President Buhari-Led Administration. The Plan is anchored on 20 six (6) priority areas namely: i. Capacity Building ii. Accelerate Roll-out of the HR Module of the IPPIS iii. Innovation and Culture Change iv. Institutionalization of Performance Management System (Service Wide) v. Automation of work processes; and vi. Staff Welfare

A steering committee headed by the Head of Service of the Federation has been constituted to work with the FCSSIP II team to ensure the finalization of the successor plan. Stakeholders interview is ongoing for buy in and inclusiveness. It is envisaged that the final plan would be ready by the end of July 2021.

CULTURE CHANGE

In recognition of the human tendency to resist change, the Office has initiated a programme on Culture Change in the Service. The initiative focuses on the benefits of change among other advantages. To drive home the message, a video on “Culture Change” has been shot and will debut soon.

CLOSING REMARKS

Gentlemen of the Press, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, as I stated earlier, these and much more are some of the very modest contributions of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to the giant 21 developmental strides of the President Buhari-led Administration. On behalf of the service, I wish to thank Mr. President, for his fatherly disposition, support and magnanimity.

I must also most profoundly, thank Permanent Secretaries in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and all personnel of the Office and indeed all civil servants for the work they do every day. You have shown resilience in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic which has been with us for more than one year now. I want to urge all Civil Servants to redouble their efforts towards serving our country Nigeria. We are expected to show loyalty and more dedication by not rescinding our value systems of honesty, humility, selflessness and professionalism.

In recognition of your commitment and in line with our creed of rewarding excellence, some outstanding Civil Servants have been selected for recognition. By the grace of God, they shall receive awards at an event on the 29th of June, 2021 during which there will also be a presentation on the theme “Deploying technology to sustain and enhance service delivery in the face of this challenging COVID-19 pandemic climate” by a Keynote Speaker. You are all cordially invited to the event scheduled to hold at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Tuesday, 29th June at 10.00am.

The Civil Service remains focused and determined on this new found path of transformation and is resolved to surpass its past glory. I therefore call upon our friends and 22 partners from the media to sustain the support we have enjoyed thus far. As I keep saying, we are not yet there but most certainly we are not where we were. I urge us all to redouble our efforts and remain determined and committed to see this vision through.

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