Civil Service Reforms: Lagos Understudies FCT Administration

By: Wisdom Acka

Lagos State Government has commended the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for driving reforms and improving service delivery in the nation’s capital.

The commendation was made by the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation, Mr. Abdulrahman Lekki, when he led a team from Lagos State to undertake a study tour of the FCTA in Abuja.

According to Lekki, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu mandated his office to establish Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Departments in the State Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as part of efforts to reposition the Lagos State Civil Service for effective service delivery.

Equally, he disclosed that the State Government also set up his team to take a cue from the establishment of RCSI departments across Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and he decided to visit the FCTA’s version being acknowledged as one of the best in the country.

Lekki said: “In the course of our research, we found out that in the Federal Civil Service, there was a circular in 2014 that gave a directive for the establishment of RCSID in all ministries and it looked like what we had in mind”.

“We did the research and submitted to the Governor (Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu) and told him it has been done in Abuja. So we decided to visit Abuja for validation, and other reforms in MDAs,” he added.

“We visited some of these offices: Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, National Coordinator of Servicom, Bureau of Public Service Reforms and told them we wanted to visit an MDA where Reform Coordination and Service Improvement is being practiced,” he remarked.

In his response, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola assured the Lagos team of the Administration’s continued commitment to collaborate with the State in information and knowledge sharing, with a view to ensuring effective service delivery to Nigerians.

Adesola said: “It is indeed a very salutary event that you have been without for the purpose of exchange of information and knowledge “.

“Just about this time last year, it was our turn to visit you. We ruminated the entire sectors of Lagos bureaucracy and agencies, and the interaction was very refreshing and supportive of our drive to manage the Territory, “ the Permanent Secretary stated.

He restated: “It is said that iron sharpeneth goes to show that both learners can continue to grow in their knowledge as they interact with each other”.

He pointed the uniqueness of the FCTA in first with reforms thus: “For us in the FCTA, we have been very fortunate to be located in the Federal Capital Territory, so we tend to gain more momentum. Our proximity, closeness and relationship with the capital has really strengthened our Reform efforts”.

“The Bureau of Public Service Reforms has continued to support us because we are close to them. Actually we have become their laboratory for testing many of the initiatives, and our doors have always been open to ensure this,” he reiterated.

Adesola also stated that FCTA efforts were in line with the vision of the President Muhammadu Buhari.

“You are all aware of the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in the promotion of the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria. Its also one of the initiatives that we are driving in the FCT Administration”, he further said.

“It helps to address critical issues in service delivery by all the SDAs, and in particular with focus on land registry services, where and we’ve been working hard to ensure establishment of structures, in collaboration with the office of the Vice President,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary, however, pointed: “Reforms will be meaningless, or will achieve minimal impact if it does not enjoy top management support”.

“So we have a shared platform becuase there is executive support by the Lagos Governor whom I have seen driving mantu reforms,” he noted.

“Reforms will also be meaningless if it is only targeted at the administration
That’s why in the FCTA, we do not have reforms that are attached to names, but attached to systems, so that they become sustainable and people can own them”, he said.

Adesola also told the team that there were many other reform efforts by the FCTA, including “Transferring of the APER system into the Performance Management System, which is a whole lot of efforts and actitivities. It will enhance performance and service delivery”.

Warning those in charge of service delivery, he said: ” A service giver today could become a service taker tomorrow so whatever you do now will hunt you tomorrow”.

“Our slogan in the FCTA is to remain committed to efficient service delivery,” he stressed.

“We will continue to support, collaborate because we are in one nation, and in one government”, he said.

Also speaking, Acting Director, Department of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu corroborated the Permanent Secretary, saying that it was a privilege that Lagos State Government was coming to learn from the FCTA.

According to her, the FCTA had, even before the directive for establishment of RCSIDs in MDAs, made series of efforts at improving service delivery; one of which is the FCT Call Centre, which was created in 2004.