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Again, Bayelsa Officials visit Edo to Understudy Public Service Reforms

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When we came into the State and saw the buildings at the Secretariat Complex, at first we thought we were looking at a hotel complex.

…Seek guidance on Obaseki’s N40,000 Minimum Wage

By John Ewah

Barely two months after officials of the Bayelsa State government visited Edo State to understudy the e-procurement process, another Bayelsa delegation led by the Attorney General, Hon. Biriya Dambo (SAN), on Thursday July 7, 2022, paid a working visit to Edo State to understudy the various public service reforms in the State.

Addressing the delegates, Secretary to the Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., stressed the commitment of Governor Godwin Obaseki towards establishing institutions that would outlast his administration.

According to Ogie, “As a Government, we realized that we are not going to be here forever. However, there are things we can do that would last forever or for a long period of time.

“Sometimes when people talk about the sustainability of these reforms, we make them understand that once the system is in place, things can run seamlessly in one’s absence”.

Ogie added, “The Governor has devoted a greater part of this second term to service reforms. Once you build this institution and give civil servants the right training, enlightenment and motivation, your job becomes easier.

“It has paid us here in Edo State. We believe your coming here would also have a positive impact on your public service in Bayelsa State”.

Ogie noted that the visit is of great value to Bayelsa and Edo as both states have a lot to learn from each other.

The Edo State Government team led by the Head of Service, Anthony Okungbow Esq., took the visitors on a tour of strategic offices and centers within the State’s Secretariat Complex and the Government House.

Speaking during the tour, Okungbowa maintained that the Obaseki administration considers the public service as the fulcrum of development, and as such, has deliberately invested much in both structural and process reforms to enable the institution drive the process of governance effectively and efficiently.

The Head of Service said: “The Governor considers the public service as the fulcrum of development. As such, he has concentrated efforts on developing the public service, building the service as an institution that would drive growth and development. He has left no stone unturned in ensuring that we get all we need and desire to be effective”.

Okungbowa further stressed that public service in the State is moving from a transactional to a strategic type and that the reforms have been designed in such a way as to ensure sustainability.

Also speaking during the tour, the Edo State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Joseph Eboigbe, said that the Obaseki administration is leveraging technology to drive the budgetary and financial processes of the State.

According to Eboigbe, “The Governor is acquainted with the knowledge and expertise that carrying out strategic process and structural reforms require building the capacity of the public service, in order to create a system that would help drive the development process, economically and socially.

“Today the procurement and many other financial processes in the State are driven by technology”.

The Finance Commissioner added: “Until the States in Nigeria get it right, we will forever be dependent on oil revenue from Abuja, and any slight headwind that affects crude oil price and production will shake us very hard.

“Therefore, managing our physical space and micro-economies require a vibrant public service capable of policy enunciation and implementation. We needed to therefore build the type of staff that can think along that line, design the policies and implement them”.

Eboigbe explained that what currently obtains in the State is a total departure from what the civil service used to be.

The Bayelsa delegates who also visited the Edo Health Insurance Office were acquainted with the reforms in health insurance in the State by the Director-General of Edo State Health Insurance Commission, Dr. Rock Amegor, who expressed Governor Obaseki’s commitment to making healthcare available to public servants and other residents of the State.

The delegates were also shown around the Data Centre which is a second level storage of all data in the Edo Information and Communication Technology network.

Speaking with journalists on the purpose of their visit in the State, the leader of the Bayelsa delegation, Biriyai Dambo, noted that they were in the State to understudy major reforms in the State’s public service.

According to Dambo, “We are here in Edo State to understudy the reformed salary structure, among other reforms in the State’s public service, to see how we can juxtapose that against the salary structure we operate in Bayelsa State and to see how we can improve governance.”

Dambo added, “Like you know, Bayelsa State is a civil service State like Edo State used to be. But what I have seen today is that Edo State has brought the private sector into the public sector. When we came into the State and saw the buildings at the Secretariat Complex, at first we thought we were looking at a hotel complex.

“I was even more astonished with the facilities indoors at the secretariat. What I have seen with the various projects executed by the Edo State Government in driving the reforms is unique. We must commend the Governor for this feat”.

Dambo thanked his host for the hospitality accorded them, stating that another visit to the State was imminent.

The Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration is transforming the State’s public service and equipping public servants in the State with the needed tools to guarantee efficient service delivery to the people.

The Government is leveraging technology to drive the various reforms in public service institutions. The e-governance currently in force in the State’s public service is geared towards promoting efficiency and effectiveness and eliminating corruption in governance.

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