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Priming civil servants for productivity

The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) recently held workshops for different categories of its staff to prepare them for a productive year. CALEB ONWE reports

 

As the new year progresses, the desire to maximise its benefits is rife, both at the individual and organisational levels. With resolutions already made and goals set, action plans seems to be the next thing that that have preoccupied the minds many individuals, institutions and organisations in the country.

 

Last week, the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) secluded different categories of its key staff for a brainstorming retreat. The three-day retreat took place at the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), located along Abuja-Keffi Road. Inside Abuja gathered that it was organised to sharpen the minds of participants and also give them a nudge for productivity.

 

Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Ekpo Nta, made it clear that the Nigerian Civil Service cannot be repositioned for effective service delivery, if there was no deliberate steps taken to achieve a reform that  will conform to International standards in all spheres. In a presentation at the retreat, Nta said that the Commission was determined to setting the pace for efficient and effective service delivery, through continuous training programmes for staff and exposure to what their counterparts are doing across the globe.

He explained that the Commission had outlined several career improving initiatives that would help personnel across different levels to understand and deliver on what is expected of them.

He said: “As an organisation, if you don’t train your personnel, then they would not deliver. Most times, everybody assumes that civil or public servants know what they are doing, as it’s been done in the past, but I don’t believe in that policy (notion).

That’s why we are bringing our staff to understand their role in the next five years period. “I have done that for the Board and top management , and now these are the middle level management team. Since when I became Chairman of the place, I have harped seriously on training and exposure and that they are getting in full measure.”

Nta said the commission had made enormous investments towards improving the work place and also making it respond effectively to the need of the staff. According to him, part of the investments was ensuring that all the facilities    of the commission has internet connectivity for all staff. “All NSIWC offices have are have internet facilities now, there is no distinction, and we are endeavouring to give every staff a computing device, to do their just job efficiently as well as see what other counterparts anywhere in the world are doing. ”

We are operating international standard, that’s why we want to be able to be in a position, to advise the government in a proactive way. So, now we are doing some proactive works. “We are trying to build a system where people don’t come and just sit in the office, and be given jobs, but you come fully aware knowing what to do. That’s the whole essence of our retreat,” he said.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Dr. Anthonia Ekpa, who was one of the resource persons, stated that what determines the quality of Civil Service, was the quality of its workforce.

Ekpa, who lectured the participants on the necessary ingredients that enhance productivity in the Civil Service, urged them to provide exemplary leadership.

He pointed out that a lot of reforms had been introduced to make Nigerian Civil Service more productive, noting that staff who are benefiting from government’s training programme ought to justify the huge resources being ex  pended on them. She described the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission as a very valued technical public service management institution in the country and called on the staff to strive to add value to the management structure.

The Permanent Secretary also urged workers in the civil service to always engage in self development initiatives, in order to ensure effective service delivery in the system. She noted that exposure and experience to training and interfacing with other colleagues count more than the day to day working on your schedule in the office.

 

“Looking at the quality of officers here, you can see there is a lot of change and that the response to work is more positive now. “Most of these officers are in schools for self-improvement.

While many are doing their PHDs, some are doing their master degrees, which will invariably impact on the officers and outcome, in terms of their work,” she said. One of the participants, and a Director in the Commission, Babatunde Oresanya, said the training was not just a value- addition initiative, but a huge source of inspiration. He noted that the impact of the training will be long lasting and the skills acquired would remain beneficial at all times.

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