Head of Service tasks public servants on technological innovations

By Rahila Lassa, Abuja

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Public servants in Nigeria have been urged to work collectively towards a more functional service for a guaranteed and sustainable socio-economic development of the nation.

Nigeria’s Head of Civil Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan made the call in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, during the 2022 Public Service Innovation Competition Award Ceremony organised by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

According to the Head of Service, the 2018 Future of Jobs Report of the World Economic Forum states that, the range of established roles in the Global Labour Market which are set to experience rising demand, include Data Analysts and Scientists.

“Other specialist roles to be in high demand according to the report are Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Specialists, Big Data Specialists, Process Automation Experts, Information Security Analysts, Human-Machine Interaction Designers, Robotics Engineers and Block Chain Specialists among other roles that are significantly based on and enhanced by the use of technology”.

“The aforementioned data suggests that professionals who have a blend of science, technology and social sciences, would be in high demand”.

Yemi-Esan further stated that in the past decade, more than any period in recent times, there has been a significant proliferation in the acquisition of technologies and solutions to create better opportunities and render seamless services.

“Therefore, today’s event validates our commitment to drive an ecosystem where officers across the Nigeria Public Service are encouraged and able to exchange knowledge and access the right tools and support to translate their ideas to sustainable solutions”. Yemi-Esan explained.

She emphasised that innovation in the public sector has become increasingly popular around the world as a strategy for improving governance and scaling up the quality of service.

The Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada said the only way to encourage upcoming public officers to contribute to the changes needed in the Service is to give them the opportunity to think outside the box.

“I believe that the civil service needs quite a lot of reforms. The best way to do it is to encourage those upcoming officers to give their best and the only way to do so is to allow them to express themselves and think out of the box. The competition will go a long way in getting the best from the civil service. This award is intended to institutionalize competition and to deepen the ongoing reforms by the Civil Service of the Federation”.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Ibrahim Shekarau, said reward and punishment are viable tools in enhancing service delivery noting that a good leader recognizes performance and reward same.

“Everywhere on earth, human beings, the best they appreciate is when you recognise their outstanding performance”.

Senator Shekarau, however, noted that rewards must not be exclusively for the staff of organisations, but must include even janitors.

The Winner of the competition, Mr. Oluromi Emmanuel constructed a GPRS enabled Speedometer, a tool that enables a car driver to receive a text message on the state of their cars.

The crux of the 2022 edition of the Federal Civil Service Innovation Competition is to bring innovative solutions to bear in addressing security challenges within the public space and develop new methods for advancing government business through Public Private Partnership as well as reducing the cost of governance.

The first place winner was awarded the prize of three million Naira (N3,000,000) while the first and second runner up winners will get one million, seven hundred and fifty Thousand Naira (N1,750,000) and one million Naira (N1,000,000) respectively.

The sum of two hundred thousand Naira (N200,000) will be presented to the ten other top performers as consolation prizes.

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