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Obaseki seeks employment of best brains in civil service



Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has called on governments at different levels to employ the best brains in their civil and public service to rebuild the nation.

Obaseki made the call on Wednesday during the three-day BRACED Commission Strategy Retreat for Heads of Civil Service at the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) in Benin.

It was reported that BRACED is an acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta – seven South-South states of the federation.

Obaseki, the chairman of the commission, said Edo was currently employing its first-class graduates from different institutions in its civil and public service.

He added that the state had recently increased its workforce minimum wage to N70,000 to enhance better performance.

“Because we are hiring the best, we must pay them the way their counterparts are being paid in other organisations.

“So, if we must rebuild Nigeria, then the best brains must be attracted to work in the public and civil service.

“We cannot build our country and states if we do not build our institutions and infrastructure.

“So, it is so important that as we talk about building Nigeria, we must fix our bureaucracy that runs Nigeria at all levels,” Obaseki said.

He noted that the retreat would allow participants to brainstorm on ways to support one another in developing the civil and public service in the South-South region.

According to him, issues that are common to the service in the BRACED states will be discussed over the next three days, leveraging one another’s knowledge.

The Director-General, BRACED Commission, Amb. Joe Keshi, commended Obaseki for his foresight and commitment to building institutions as catalysts for development.

Keshi noted the commission was established to achieve the brief of economic cooperation, integration, collective development, and harmonisation of state policies, ensuring the region’s global competitiveness.

According to him, the commission cannot achieve its objectives without knowledgeable, strong, confident, effective, and efficient civil service.

“As a result, the service must constantly reinvent or renovate itself to be able to respond to the emerging dynamics effectively and efficiently.

“One retreat is not enough but what is important is that as leaders of the service in your respective states, you leave here determined to initiate the changes,” he said.

Prof. Tunji Olaopa, the Guest Speaker and Chairman of the Federal Public Service Commission, said the traditional and orthodox approaches and metrics deployed in public service required recalibration.

Speaking on the topic, “Strategic Leadership in Civil/Public Service: Challenges, Opportunities and Future Prospects”, Olaopa says the civil service reflects the old model of administration.

He explained that public administration had had to contend with a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment that conditioned its performance, stagnating the civil service.

He said managing the public sector, therefore, demanded new, original and innovative out-of-the-box thinking and strategies to get results that would translate to real performance and productivity.

Earlier in his welcome address, Edo Head of Service, Dr Anthony Okungbowa, said the retreat was a gathering of brothers coming together to find solutions to the region’s civil service challenges.

Nefishetu Yakubu

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