*Photo R-L:The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, with the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Service Matters Hon. Engr. Sani Bala during the oversight function of by the House Committee to OHCSF.*
By M. A. Ahmed
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, has received the House of Representatives Committee Members on Public Service Matters on an oversight visit to ascertain the 2022/2023 budget implementation and performance. The Committee members from the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly led by its Chairman, Engr. Sani Bala were received by Dr. Yemi-Esan, CFR, and the Management Team on November 16, 2023, in Abuja.
The HoSF disclosed that the notice letter for the oversight visit was received with great enthusiasm because the 2024 budget proposal has just been submitted and the ceiling for the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) is considered grossly inadequate. She stated further that Ministries, extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were directed by the Budget Office to retain the 2023 Appropriation figures with marginal increases, adding that the OHCSF, like other MDAs is constrained by enormous responsibilities, including the renovation of the Federal Secretariat Complexes, Phases I, II, III and the old one at Area 1, Garki, which needs urgent attention due to its dilapidated state.
While giving an overview of what the OHCSF does, in other to acquaint the newly elected members on its modus operandi, Dr. Yemi-Esan, CFR, explained that the Office is responsible for leadership, management and development of all Federal Civil Servants for effective, efficient and accountable service delivery to the citizenry. She described the vision of the OHCSF as “to lead a world class service for accelerated national development,” in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.
The HoSF explained further that there are five (5) offices in the OHCSF, and each has a distinct mandate and is being headed by a Permanent Secretary. They are Career Management Office (CMO), Common Services Office (CSO), Service Policies and Strategies Office (SPSO), Special Duties Office (SDO) and Service Welfare Office (SWO).
According to her, the Office also supervises some Agencies such as; the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB), the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) and the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN). She added that the OHCSF have six (6) Training Centers, one in each geo-political zone of the country.
Reiterating on the efforts and achievements of her Office, the HoCSF affirmed that the successes recorded in the Federal Civil Service include the development of a strategic plan called the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan FCSSIP (2021-2025), adding that the Plan is to reform and reposition the entire Service for effective service delivery.
Dr. Yemi-Esan, CFR highlighted six priority areas of the Plan as; Capacity Building and Talent Management aimed at equipping Civil Servants with the requisite abilities to carry out their function maximally, stressing that the load of performance of any Administration lies solely on the Civil Servants, ‘’if workers are not well trained, it becomes difficult to perform their responsibilities as expected’’, she stated.
The second pillar is the Performance Management System; the essence of this is to transit from the present Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER) system that is not deemed objective enough in measuring performance to this new performance management system, which inculcates the objective of the MDAs and the eight priority areas of the present Administration. Civil Servants, irrespective of their MDAs, can relate what they are doing vis-à-vis the 8 priority areas of Government and these are cascaded down to the performance indicator of every individual in the MDAs.
The Service’s digital revolution champion, Dr. Yemi-Esam, CFR, explained further that the IPPIS-HR, being the third pillar emphases only on the Human Resource component of the Payroll with a view to ensuring that only people who are genuinely employed by government are paid. She buttressed that through detailed and rigorous verification exercises conducted, nationwide, the OHCSF has drastically cut down on the number of Civil Servants on Government’s wage bill. The Office is also driving Innovation, as the fourth pillar, knowing fully-well that no society can, presently, survive without it. The Office has, so far, organised three (3) Innovation Competitions/Challenges, where Civil Servants were asked to bring out innovative ideas that will enhance their work and the Service, at large.
Digitalisation of Content Services is another pillar, as at today, OHCSF has gone completely digital, ‘’we no longer carry files/mails from one office to the other, our work is now being carried out via an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform.” This has safeguarded document leakages and staff of the Office can now work from anywhere around the world with the use of internet.
On Staff Welfare, which is the sixth pillar of the Plan, OHCSF is working towards the delivery and allocation of 116 units of houses to core Civil Servants by December at an affordable price, which is being financed by the FGSHLB.
Earlier, the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Service Matters, Engr. Sani Bala., who led the members on the visit, stated that it is their constitutional mandate to conduct routine oversight function on MDAs. According to him, ‘’the provision of the constitution allow Committee members to hear and access OHCSF’s budget performance of 2022/2023 and we are impressed with the level of performance and implementation.”
In attendance were the Permanent Secretaries, Common Services Office, Mrs. Lydia S. Jafiya, Service Policies and Strategies Office, Oloruntola Olufemi, Service Welfare Office, Alhaji Mahmud Adam Kambari and some Directors.
*M. A. Ahmed,
Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation
November 17, 2023