The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has declared that workers are vital to national development, as the transformation of any nation, society or system depends on the effectiveness and efficiency of its civil/public servants.
Governor Makinde made the declaration, on Tuesday, at the Year 2021 Public Service Forum tagged “The Millennia Public Service: Springboard from Poverty to Prosperity” held in Ibadan, the state capital.
Makinde, who was represented at the forum by the state Head of Service, Mrs Ololade Agboola, said civil/public servants are important as they determine the allocation of power and money through governmental policies.
He noted that workers also establish partnerships with other stakeholders and make decisions that could have major effects on the well-being of a nation and its citizens, describing the public service as one of the agents of development in any society.
The governor stated: “The transformation of any society or system thrives on the efficiency and effectiveness of its civil/public service, particularly a developing society like our own.
The choice of lecturer and discussants for this programme was well thought of by the planning committee and I wish to say that the topic is cogent at this moment when the civil service of different countries of the world are driving their economies.
He further declared that regular payment of salaries, allowances and pensions have not stopped the various developmental projects his administration has embarked on.
The Guest Lecturer, a former Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission and former Federal Permanent Secretary, Mrs Joan Olatoyosi Ayo (OON), gave her lecture under four topics, namely: What is the Public/Civil Service and who is a Public/Civil Servant?; Features of the Public Service vis-a-vis functions and identity of a Public/Civil Servant; The Old Western Region of 1956-1969: A Case Study of Public Service as a Springboard from Poverty to Prosperity and the Millenium Public Service, plus her submission.
In using the Western Region of Nigeria as a case study, Mrs Ayo said those were the days when the region had the best public service with laudable, viable projects.
However, the public service that inherited the projects did not exhibit integrity, lacked the courage to speak truth to power, lacked endurance in the face of personal risk or inconvenience and the political leaders, who took over, eventually lost the vision of the founding fathers.
She noted: “The enabling public service environment was enacted by age-old universal core values that govern the conduct, ethos, behaviour and approach to the discharge of the functions of the public service.
In general, the core values are: Political Neutrality, Meritocracy, Integrity, Impartiality, Patriotism, Professionalism, Discipline, Accountability, Transparency and Anonymity.
The Guest Lecturer affirmed that by going back to imbibe the core values, the civil service would be able to lift the state from poverty to prosperity.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the Head of Service, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Civil Service Commission, David Olatunde, noted that the forum was organised to contribute to the development of institutional, human and technological capacities of public sector institutions and civil/public servants, to efficiently deliver public goods and services to the entire citizenry.
She explained that the best practice in the civil/public service today is tending towards professionalism where all officers are expected to improve themselves through acquisition of relevant additional academic and professional qualifications, as well as being abreast of and acquainting themselves with contemporary issues.
Workers are vital to national development – Governor Makinde