Nigeria: Govt Ties Nigeria’s Developmental Challenges to Weak Public Service

The federal government said yesterday that many of Nigeria’s developmental challenges could be traced to suboptimal performance by the country’s public service.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, made the comment yesterday when he led an entourage to the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), for the formal presentation of the report on the deployment of Self- Assessment Tools (SAT) in the agency by the Bureau for Public Service Reform (BPSR).

Describing the civil service as the engine for delivering public goods and services, Boss noted that its excellent performance was critical for social and economic growth.

Represented by the Special Adviser on Policy and Coordination and former acting Head of Service (HoS), Dr Habiba Lawal, the SGF stated that the administrative capacity of the service remains a crucial factor in implementation of government’s policies and programmes.

Consequently, he noted that the development challenges faced by Nigeria such as poverty, unemployment, insecurity and poor infrastructure could be attributed to the week performance of the public service.

He noted that the public service in the country had not been transformed enough to a well performing institution, but stressed that the federal government was determined to ensure performance delivery and achieve its developmental goals.

He stated that the self-assessment tool was for agencies of government to be able to assess their strengths, weaknesses, and provide solutions.

According to him, the self-assessment will allow evidence-based means to surmount constraints and improve performance as well as provide opportunities, identify gaps and devise an action plan to tackle them.

Mustapha added that it was important that the agencies submit themselves to the bureau to enable government support them in their self delivery efforts.

Also speaking, the Director General of the BPSR , Dasuki Arabi commended NEMSA for its cooperation during the period of the assessment, noting that at the end of the process, the organisation was adjudged one of the best in adhering to the rules.

Some of the strengths of NEMSA, Arabi stated, included appropriate responses by the board to environmental threats and adherence to the code of conduct as clearly spelt out in the rules book.

In addition, he noted that accountability was held high in the organisation and that there existed clear policies to meet its challenges, including establishment of periodic reviews.

“We have noted that staff are being trained constantly. We have noted the great improvement with NEMSA website in line with government policy and have met 100 per cent of its requirements.

“Based on evidence provided and what we have seen, NEMSA has done a lot to link up with other agencies in the same sector. We have noted very good stratification in assignment of responsibility.

“At the end of the self-assessment, NEMSA scored 80.75 per cent and has won the gold level award. This means that NEMSA’s performance consistently exceeds expectations,” he stated.

In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Director, NEMSA, Mr Aliyu Tahir, stated that the deployment of the self-assessment tool in the agency was undertaken in September 2021 and the exercise helped the agency to ascertain the constraints/challenges confronting it.

Based on the analysis of its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), he stated that the agency had been able to identify additional opportunities for continuous improvement.

He listed some challenges facing NEMSA to include inadequate office accommodation for staff and requisite facilities to provide a conducive work environment.

Similarly, he decried the dearth of requisite staff to complement the manpower of the agency, pointing out that the last recruitment undertaken by the agency was in 2018.

In addition, he explained that the yearly challenge pf paucity of funds had been a recurring decimal and that it had invariably impeded the provision of the required assets and facilities for the execution of the mandate and responsibilities of NEMSA in its various Inspectorate Field Offices (IFOs) in the 19 locations across the country.

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