by Tayo Agbonjimi
Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has declared that the inability to clearly articulate a vision rather than poverty of ideas and capacity is responsible for the perception of decline in the Civil Service.
‘’ Many who mourn the decline of the civil service today from its days as ‘primus inter pares’ in the Commonwealth to one which has earned a reputation for inefficiency, low productivity, corruption and insensivity to the needs of the public, fall into the error of thinking that the problem is a poverty of ideas and capacity on the part of the Civil Service’’, according to the Vice President.
Rather, he continued that ‘’it is the inability to clearly articulate a vision, ensure that the service develops the required capacity to articulate and implement the various components of the vision’’.
He spoke earlier today while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the launch of two capacity building programmes for public servants at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Abuja.
He restated that this lack of vision and clear cut ideological worldview and objective will only make the Service to ‘’grope in the dark and take the government and people along with it on a blind-leading-the-blind voyage’’.
The Vice President therefore challenged the Civil Service to articulate the appropriate vision and ‘’ensure that the Service develops the required capacity to articulate and implement the various components of the vision;’’ noting that the problem of the Service is not poverty of ideas and capacity.
The Vice President assured the gathering that the zero tolerance for corruption of this administration is not merely a moral or ethical stand but a developmental construct that recognises that corruption if not apprehended will destroy all institutions, the economy and eventually our society.
He stressed that government has the imperative to govern by the rule of law, which should be administered by a trustworthy, fearless, impartial and efficient judiciary, adding that ‘’rigorously enforced standards of transparency and accountability in the conduct of public business, and commerce are crucial alongside a zero tolerance for corruption’’.
Stating that a nation’s futureis intrinsically tied to the Civil Service, Prof. Osinbajo said without clear answer to fundamental questions such as ‘’what is the vision of the political leadership for the country’’ the Civil Service might not be in position to fashion out the right ‘’skills set, learnings or education which are required to equip the civil servant to birth and nurture the desired future.’’
While praising the leadership of the Federal Civil Service for recognising the need for continuing relevant education for all staff, Prof. Osinbajo observed that the technical competencies which the two capacity building programmes, SMAT-P and LEAD-P, seeks to achieve can only be realised within the right context and paradigm.
He opined that given the role of civil servants as foot soldiers in the march to our great destiny, they cannot afford indiscipline, inefficiency or lack of focus especially because the hopes and aspirations of a whole society rest on their shoulders.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi who delivered the welcome address at the occasion told the gathering that the two capacity building programmes were designed with the overall objective to address the twin challenges of capacity and leadership deficit in the public service.
At the occasion were the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mahmoud Mohammed, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Service from across the States and other very senior Federal Civil Servants.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President (Media & Publicity)