Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has said his administration will reposition the state civil service to drive the economic development strategy to be put in place by the recently inaugurated state Investment and Economic Development Advisory Council.
Governor Sule made this known on Thursday after receiving the final report of the committee on restructuring government ministries, departments and agencies, at the Lafia Government House.
While noting that the report of the committee will assist the economic advisory council towards designing a strategy for the economic growth of the state, Engineer Sule said the civil service is key to the success of the vision and as such there is the need to restructure and reinvigorate the service to improve efficiency and reduce redundancy.
He commended the members of the committee for undertaking a thorough job of not only identifying the challenges confronting the state civil service but mustering the courage to make far reaching recommendations.
“For you to go ahead and identify various challenges that we have in the civil service, and accepting the fact that we do have those challenges, and making recommendations on how to fix those challenges took a lot of courage,” the governor said.
The governor pointed out that even from the interim report of the committee earlier submitted, he acknowledged the effort of the committee in the elimination of obvious overlaps and areas of conflicts between agencies and ministries.
“We have a lot of areas where people are very much redundant, for not having what to do some people don’t even come to their offices.
Engineer Sule expressed hope that with the rejigging, Nasarawa State will have a different civil service in the coming years.
“If you eliminate some of these overlaps and create opportunity for people actually to be active in doing what they are doing and for people to be trained and given responsibilities with clear targets, appraising them appropriately and ensuring that we reward people for performance, I believe strongly, we will have a different form of civil service in few years from now,” he stated.
Governor Sule assured members of the committee that his administration will put to use their recommendations to the benefit of the state.
Earlier in his opening remark, Chairman of the committee, Silar Dachor, a retired permanent secretary, said the recommendations contained in the reports were based on the terms of reference given to the committee on inauguration on June 27, as well as the determination of the administration to turn a new leaf in the state civil service, which is an essential factor in successful governance.
Dachor noted that the committee looked at the existing structure of the state civil service and observed among others that, there were areas of overlap as well as conflicts in the functions of some ministries, departments and agencies.
The committee thereby recommended for the restructuring of the MDAs by downsizing.
“What we did was to recommend a total scrapping scraping of a few ministries and merging them with others. And we recommended certain functions and departments of those ministries to move to ministries with which they are being merged,” the chairman said.
He disclosed further that the committee also looked at the guidelines for administrative procedure of the state executive council, which the committee said has fallen short of national best practice.
“And so we have attempted to upgrade it, restructure it and infuse into it wider areas of coverage that will assist the state executive council in the entire gamut of its activities. We came up with a completely new guideline,” Dachor stated.
The chairman, on behalf of the committee, thanked the governor for finding them worthy of the assignment.