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Edo Govt. Trains Civil, Public Servants on Critical Thinking, Problem Solving

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Governor Godwin Obaseki has always told us that the civil service is the fulcrum of any development.

By John Ewah

There is a conscious need for proper capacity building to ensure a paradigm shift in the operations and mentality of public servants, as training affords employees ways of developing skills for better delivery of services.

 Trainings centred around capacity, geared towards meeting the demands of a digital workplace will lead to a change in the attitude by which public servants discharge their duties and bring about a perception change in the public service.

A reorientation platform must therefore be set up, upon which civil servants may now operate, especially in an emerging civil service characterized by 21st Century digital revolution

Like Isaac Newton famously wrote, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Capacity building becomes the requisite platform to launch civil servants into a digital civil service which has evolved from being transactional to being strategiclike the type seen in Edo State, resulting from the series of institutional reforms embarked upon by the current administration.

The ongoing two-day workshop organized by Edo State Government on ‘Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, as part of the public service reforms in the State, would enable public servants develop problem-solving skills and offer them the requisite expertise and competence to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently.

The Governor Godwin Obaseki administration is making impactful investments in human capital development. The 2-day training exercise which started on 24th and to end on 25th Nov. 2022 has as its theme: ‘Up-skilling and Retooling the Civil and Public Service’

The event has in attendance, civil servants from Grade level 13 to 17, including designates of the Inter-Ministerial  Counterpart Team (IMCT) in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

In his welcome address, the Edo State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa Esq. noted that the ongoing transformation in the State’s public service is improving the thought pattern of public servants in the State and upgrading the civil service into a high performing institution. 

According to Okungbowa,What we are doing in service today is moving away from a Transactional Service; a service that was not interested in outcomes; a service in which people rendered service but how impactful that service was, was not taken into consideration. We are moving from there to another era I call ‘Strategic Service.

Governor Godwin Obaseki has always told us that the civil service is the fulcrum of any development. The ongoing transformation in Edo State civil and public service is upskilling and retooling workers’ thought pattern and upgrading it into a high performing service. We are currently doing this through the training and retraining of staff”.

Speaking on the purpose of the training programOkungbowa said: “This two-day training program has been designed by JOOPSA in conjunction with the State Government to build and develop critical thinking skills in managerial staff. 

“As the think tank; that is advisers of government, managers of government projects, heads of departments  and teams, the objectives of this training program are to improve your personal effectiveness in workplace and general efficiency in service through critical thinking skills and development, which are required for problem solving in workplace. I would like to encourage all of you to pay keen attention and participate actively throughout the program for the goals of the program to be achieved.

Also speaking during the event, the Managing Director of the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy(JOOPSA), Ms. Precious Imuwahen Ajoonu, who delivered the lecture on ‘Critical Thinking’ noted that it is the desire of Edo State Government and JOOPSA to raise lifelong learners and problem solvers within the State’s Public Service.

Ajoonu said: “The 2-day course on critical thinking and problem solving is specifically targeted at managers within the civil and public service. I thought the turnout was great. As expected, everybody came, but I think beyond that, I like that we were able to introduce some concepts. If you noticed in the beginning, we had a gamification, which is game-based learning, and it is exciting to see how people won prizes. We like that we are innovative with how we are teaching and it is so exciting to see the feedback we are getting from participants.  


Our civil and public servants must begin to learn how to learn; that is the real essence of this. So it is not so much as just coming to do training. When you come to JOOPSA for training, we want you to enter into a learning experience; we want to raise lifelong learners, people that can solve problems, people that can think for today and tomorrow, and we think that is what we started doing in this training today.

Delivering a lecture on Problem Solving, Mr. Babatunde O Eniaiyejuni, Director of Studies, ASCON, noted that with what public servants in the State have been exposed to on critical thinking and problem solving, they would be able to analyse problems and take critical decisions.

ng to Eniaiyejuni, “When you solve a problem you have to make a decision.  And at the level of the civil service, heading divisions and departments, that put them in top management as well. Problems will keep on coming. They must use what they have learnt in critical thinking to look at the problems, analyze the problems and take decisions. So the topic that I dwelled on augmented the one delivered by the MD of JOOPSA”.

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