Oyo-Ita calls for continuity, sustainability of government programmes, policies

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Access Bank Plc

Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOS), has called on all players in the Nigeria economy to ensure continuity and sustainability of giver projects to promote Ease of Doing Business in the country.

Oyo-Ita made the call during the “Post-Conflict Learning” visit to the Rwanda Development Board on Wednesday in Kigali, saying there has to be coordination among all arms of government.

She said that though the Executive Order on ease of doing business was in place in Nigeria, it should be more strengthened.

The HOS noted that government projects should not be tied to an individual in power in such a way that when the person leaves office the project collapses.

According to her, this brings set back in development.

Commenting on the lessons learnt from Rwanda’s government, Oyo-Ita said there was an urgent need to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of the country.

She also commended the Capacity Development Fund policy of Rwanda and plans to replicate it in Nigeria.

She added that the Nigerian Civil Service was not getting enough financial and technical support.

“We have been crying, as civil servants, that we are not being given the necessary financial and technical support to develop the capacity of people that will initiate and develop government programmes.

“I also learnt here that there is less emphasis on paper qualification in their recruitment process rather they focus on your skills and this is quite admirable and will be replicated in Nigeria,’’ Oyo-Ita said.

In his remarks, Mr Mark Nkurunziza, Chief Financial Officer, Rwanda Development Board said it was essential for a country to have a unified vision in development plans.

Nkurunziza said that Rwanda ranked 29th on the World Bank ranking on the ease of doing business with the visa on arrival policy and zero per cent import duty.

He said other factors that contributed to Rwanda’s ease of doing business policy was allowing the public-private partnership to drive the country’s economic growth.

“To attract investors and top notch companies into Rwanda, we gave them an incentive of zero per cent cooperative contract for life.

“To increase our exports and job creation, we went into manufacturing and reduced our cooperative income tax from 30 per cent to 15 per cent.

“It takes only six hours to get your business registered and receive a certificate, irrespective of the type of business, and it’s done online,’’ he said.

The Chief Officer said the National Aid Policy of Rwanda allows them to treat donor agencies as partners, not as people who just bring donations.

He added that many youths were in government because they were employed immediately they graduated and that Rwandan Government had removed years of experience from their recruitment requirements.

On the capacity building of public servants, Nkurunziza said the staff were sent on foreign training based on the priority of the government and they are tracked for impact after they return.

He explained that all these components were the factors that had helped Rwanda survive and progress tremendously after the 1994 genocide.

The Head of Service and her team also visited the Ministry of Education in Rwanda and was received by the Minister, Dr Isaac Munyakazi.