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Edo State Govt Develops Five Year Human Resource Strategic Plan

By Igbavboa Samuel Omokheoa

The maxim, “if you fail to plan, you have planned to fail”, as a driving force has necessitated the need for the Edo State Government to organize a two-day Human Resources (HR) Strategy Retreat to develop a five-year HR strategic plan, in its quest to meet the needs of the people, including welfare and training of its workforce, and to sustain an efficient and effective Civil and Public Service.

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, while declaring the two days retreat open through a zoom call, revealed that the retreat will help to build a mindset and a culture in the Civil and Public Servants and to co-develop a strategy that each Civil and Public Servant will own, which will help to reinvent Edo State to be the best for investment and the best State to live in.

The Governor stated that the retreat is relevant as it will help to ensure that the person that is hiring understands and has the HR requirements to ensure a competent workforce.

He stressed that the retreat will help the government to examine its strategy towards the ongoing reforms and to strengthen the commitment of the State Government and that of the Civil and Public Servants, who will in turn create a conducive environment and endear the culture of productivity among the Gen Zs, “We must look into this system,” he added.

Governor Obaseki emphasized that the Gen Zs are the future of the civil and public service. “We need them to help and guide us in the reinvention of Edo State. This is just the beginning, and I can assure you that there are so many things that we can achieve together” to Make Edo Great Again.

Addressing the participants, the Head of Service, Anthony Osa Okungbowa, Esq., reminded them of the need to represent the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration excellently.

The Head of Service in his address titled “The State of Human Resources in Edo State: the Journey So Far Since 2014”, stated that the retreat is a product of an ongoing Civil and Public service reform initiative designed by the State Governor, because he understands that the Civil and Public service is the engine room of governance, and as such, for governance to be effective, the Civil and Public service must run effectively. This will ensure that civil and public service is strengthened to serve as an instrumentality of government while bringing governance to the people.

He added that the Edo State Government has achieved several milestones in its quest to fully implement the E-gov policy as a government that has simplified the process of carrying out government business through the electronic system. As a result, some State Governments are currently understudying the use of E-gov in this administration and the successes recorded.

Dr. Okugbowa, congratulated the State Governor for setting the pace, stating that Governor Godwin Obaseki is a thinker and strategic planner, which is obvious in the changes evident in the Civil and Public service, with the delivery of quality and efficient services to residents in the State. He added that the digitalisation of the Civil and Public service has placed Edo State at the forefront of other States as a digital State.

He emphasized that the essence of the retreat is to create an atmosphere for cross fertilization of ideas, in order to achieve the objectives to create a five-year strategic human resources roadmap for Edo State Government, help Ministries, Departments and Agencies’ (MDAs) leadership to understand their role and responsibilities in HR management, secure stakeholders buy-in to the five-year strategic HR roadmap, inventorize and prioritize key HR actions and initiatives in the plan, as well as provide a platform to enrich HR knowledge-base and address key HR pain-points and transition issues. He enjoined the participants to be attentive and contribute meaningfully to the success of the strategy retreat.

During the technical session, Professor Tunji Olaopa, a renowned publisher and public administrator, in his lecture titled “Innovating the Future of Public Service and Leveraging Best/Leading HR Practices” gave a detailed and a revealing insight into the historical trajectories in the growth of public administration, transformation in HR functions, globalization and knowledge frontiers, challenges with HR functions in the Public Service in Nigeria, reform imperatives for HR Management and function in this whole dynamics and new strategic vision of Public Service workforce development.

He commended Governor Godwin Obaseki’s giant stride towards improving service delivery in Edo State, and concluded that “the Edo State Public Service can derive significant lessons in its attempt to make the public service the best in Nigeria through its democratic service delivery to the Edo people”.

Mrs. Joy Akhigbe, Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Corporate Change, Communications and Performance Management (Transformation Office), who spoke on the “Overview Building Blocks: EDSG HR Strategic Plan”, reiterated the key priorities of the retreat that include embedding the new ways of working, creating tomorrow’s Public Servants and building the Public Service of the future. Following the above, she moderated a breakout session which focussed on key issues, challenges and proffered solutions to four areas that will determine the Key Performance Index (KPI) to measure the outcome in the Civil and Public Service.

The President and Chairman of the Governing Council, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), Mr. Olusegun Mojeed, FCIPM, HRPI, in his lecture titled “Public Service as a Learning Organization: Imperatives and Implication for Edo State”, urged the participants to own the process in achieving the vision and objectives of the Edo State Government, stressing that execution is the new strategy, as execution is the profitable habit of getting the right thing done timeously.

Miss Ivie Ojiezua, one of the young professionals who gained automatic employment into the State’s civil service as a result of their academic feat in securing a first class degree, while delivering her lecture titled “Critical Enablers for the Successful Implementation of the HR Five-Year Strategic Plan” pointed out that critical enablers play a crucial role in creating an environment conducive for achieving desired outcomes, and encouraged HR Officers in various MDAs to work together to create an environment that supports the successful implementation of the HR Five-Year Strategic Plan, that will lead to the achievement of desired outcomes and organizational goals.

Highlights of the retreat include the panel session, titled, “The Future of Work – The Nature and Outlook of Work and Managing the Next Generation Public Servants” moderated by Mrs. Alero Onosode. The panelists concluded that Senior Office holders should be open to feedbacks, have a listening ear and encourage mentoring that endears “I have something to share and you know something I don’t know” from civil and public servants.

The two day retreat was well attended by Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Directors, Managers and Administrative Officers.

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