The Federal Government on Tuesday expressed determination to upgrade the knowledge of civil servants in the country through innovative training.
Dr folashade Yemi-Esan, Acting Head of Civil Service of the Federation, HCSF, made this known in Abuja at a 2-day workshop on Radical Innovation Training Programme for 80 civil servants across Ministry Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
The training programme was organised in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT.
Mrs Yemi-Esan said that the training was aimed at developing a more innovative civil service for improved service delivery via dedicated innovation units.
The MIT is a private research university in Massachusetts, U.S., famously known for higher learning, scientific and technological training and research.
Yemi-Esan recalled that one of the eight priority areas in the 2017 to 2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan, FCSSIP, was to drive innovation in the service, hence the need to engage foreign experts to achieve the aim.
“The FCSSIP was articulated to drive the transformation of the Nigerian civil service in line with global standard; you will agree with me that Nigeria’s civil service has great potential for improvement.
“However, to unlock these potential, we must first of all recognise the cardinal role innovation plays as a catalyst for positive change and development in any economy.’’
According to her, the urgent need to embrace innovation in the public sector can further be appreciated when one puts in retrospect the rapid pace with which innovative technologies are being proliferated in private sector administration.
Yemi-Esan said that most organisations had leveraged to enhance their efficiency, transparency and fortunes through this initiative.
“Therefore, it will be unbecoming of the public sector, which is expected to be the driver of the country’s socio-economic development to lag behind in this critical area.
“Hence, as policy makers, we must all be future-oriented and adaptive to operational change so as to create value in delivery of services to Nigerians.
“It is in view of the aforementioned realities that the office of the HCSF organised this training with the aim of equipping participants with requisite skills and knowledge to drive innovation in the public sector.’’
Yemi-Esan said that the training programme was expected to expose participants to some of the salient features of contemporary innovation.
She said that the training was also to lay out the philosophy, tools, procedures, and incentives that organisation, especially those in the public sector could adapt to drive innovation.
Earlier, Dr Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategies Office, Office of the HCSF, said the training would trigger the processes of transformation of the Nigerian public service from bureaucratic to an innovative service.
“It is therefore important for the participants to take the programme seriously and ensure effective participation.
“The training will no doubt equip them with requisite skills to discharge the needed roles on successful institutionalisation of innovation culture in their various MDAs.’’
Paul McGath, the Chairman, Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry commended the office of the HCSF for the current civil service reform designed to reposition civil service for better performance and improved service delivery.
Paul, who was represented by Lorenzo Fiorillo, the Vice Chairman of the company, said members of OPTS were delighted by the efforts of office of HCSF to upgrade the horizon of civil servants in area of technology.
He described the training as the “world-class training programme’’.
“This is part of activities under the FCSSIP 2017 to 2020, which was designed to equip civil servants with additional skills for quality service delivery to meet the global standards.