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New Year: Edo recommits to digitization, harps on cordial relations with unions to deepen MEGA agenda

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The Edo State Government has reiterated its commitment to digitization of its processing and building the capacity of civil and public servants to better deliver services to Edo people in 2022.

The Edo State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa Esq., who disclosed this in his New Year message to workers, thanked the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for not only identifying the civil/public service as the engine of good governance, but also setting necessary machinery in motion to revolutionalise the Service to deliver better service to Edo people.

According to him, “I heartily welcome you all to a brand new Year 2022.  I thank God Almighty for the opportunity to see the end of Year 2021 and witness the beginning of a new one. It is my prayer that we experience more progress this year, both individually and collectively in our bid to build a virile civil/public service whose operations and processes are consistent with international best practices, in line with the vision of our Governor, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki.

“I must thank Mr. Governor for not only identifying the civil/public service as the engine of good governance but also setting necessary machinery in motion to revolutionalise the Service to deliver better services to our people. These efforts birthed the Edo State Transformation and Enhancement Project (EDOSTEP) in the public service into which Mr Governor has committed enormous financial, time and intellectual property resources. Although this project started in 2020, it was however intensified and aggressively implemented in Year 2021.”

Stressing on the administration’s commitment to strengthen to transformation of the public service, he said: “As Mr Governor has oft- remarked, the strategic importance of this reform effort largely occasioned the need for some delay in the formation of Mr Governor’s second term cabinet as Mr Governor felt the need to strengthen the Service before bringing political actors on board. The success of the project, so far, is a direct fall-out of this committed, reform- minded and service- oriented leadership style of Mr Governor.”

He continued: “Over the past one year, the transformation effort has seen fundamental adjustments in the governance architecture and processes of the Public Service and has resulted in a new, significantly improved structure launched on the 1st November, 2021.

“Government has continued to place a high premium on the welfare of Public Servants. Salaries are being paid regularly and promptly, inspite of daunting economic challenges. Duty Tour Allowances of Civil/Public servants have been upwardly reviewed and promotions have been approved up to 2021.

“Government has also implemented several other key policies that have or are expected to significantly impact on the morale of public servants as well as the general efficiency of the Service. For instance, the extensive review of the Civil Service Rules which was last done about 20 years ago has been completed. The proposed new Rules are designed to address the challenges that have impeded growth and development in the Service and made it incapable of playing its role effectively, over time. Hopefully, when the new rules are approved for adoption and become effective this year, the Service will breath a fresh air of relief and become even more efficient and productive.”

On the digitization drive, “Government is aggressively pursuing the digitalization of the Public Service and it is expected that this novel initiative will significantly change the narratives in terms of service delivery. Over the past one year, Government continued to prioritize intellectual property resource development and invested heavily in the training and re- training of Public Servants for optimal performance. New and more effective performance management initiatives have also been developed and introduced.

“Apart from the investment in public service infrastructure, Government also made significant effort to address the personnel deficit in the system with the employment of nearly 300 new employees across all cadres in the Public Service last year. It is important to observe that this exercise was entirely merit-based.”

On the harmonious relationship with the organized labour, he said, “I must specially thank the Organized Labour for their continued support which has helped engender industrial harmony in the State in the past one year.  Special thanks must go to you for seeing the imperatives of a transformed public service to the delivery of democracy dividends and for your understanding and co- operation in the course of the arduous task of effecting changes to an otherwise traditionally rigid institution.

“Your partnership and support have been most invaluable in the implementation of the Change Agenda in the Service. I assure you that Government will continue to do its part to sustain the existing cordiality and partnership with Labour through engagement and dialogue as well as employing proactive ways in tackling labour issues in the Year 2022.

“It is my hope and expectation that the increased dedication, commitment and productivity occasioned by Government reforms in the Civil/ Public Service will be sustained this year as the Civil/Public Service continues to play a vital role in helping Government deliver on its Development Agenda. I wish you all a happy and a very prosperous New Year 2022.”



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