Monday, 12 May 2014

EU Earmarks N4.4bn to Boost Civil Service Reform...

European-Union-HQ-1511.jpg - European-Union-HQ-1511.jpg

European Union (EU) 

The European Union (EU) has approved a grant of €20 million Euros (about N4.46 billion) to boost the Federal Government’s current reform programme in the civil service.
This was disclosed by the supervising Minister, National Planning Commission (NPC), Mr. Bashir Yuguda, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and inauguration of the project steering committee for the EU Support to Federal Governance Reform Programme (SUFEGOR) in the country. He said SUFEGOR would support the aspects of the core challenges that concern coordination of the reform process, policy development and civil service administration reform, particularly in promoting government effectiveness, control of corruption and service delivery.
The minister said: “SUFEGOR project will be implemented through a Technical Assistant Contract and the contractor will be providing technical assistance to the five beneficiary agencies for the management and implementation of the project including policy advisory services, transfer of knowledge and skills, building technical capacities of personnel in the beneficiary agencies through mentoring, coaching and training.”
He further identified the beneficiary agencies to include the Office of Head of Service of the Federation, the Bureau of Public Service Reform, National Planning Commission, National Bureau of Statistics and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FRSC).
Yuguda said efforts would be made to ensure that the project is implemented as planned in order to “achieve the desired objectives and results which will go a long way to assist Nigeria in achieving its developmental goals articulated in the Nigeria’s Vision 20: 2020 and the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President.” He noted that government had commenced the implementation of the National Strategy for Public Service Reform (NSPSR) in 2008, after recognising that the weakness of the public service has negatively impacted on its ability to deliver social services and achieve the objectives of its long-term policy framework in the Vision 20-2020.
He said the government’s 2010 Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Report showed that the marginal gains recorded by the Public Service Reforms are not sufficient to carry the service to the next level, taking a cue from the first National Implementation Programme of the NV 20-2020, despite the notable successes recorded in the implementation of this strategy in the past three years.

Amb. Michchel Arrion, Head EU delegation to Nig., receiving the M.O.U & a handshake from Amb. Bashir Yuguda, with Alhaji Buka observing. 
Yuguda listed other factors which make policy planning and forecasting less reliable and effective to include weak technical competences of key specialised agencies responsible for statistical development and policy planning, namely the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the NPC.
He said: “The existing Medium-Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) is still weak, in spite of government’s efforts at improving the strategy in the past two years; also annual budgets are neither prepared on the basis of this strategy nor linked to government’s Medium Term Economic Framework (MTEF), and this makes it difficult to monitor policy and budget performance in line with its policy framework and priorities.”

The Minister added that it was on the basis of the aforementioned challenges that the EU under the 10th EDF Nigeria-EU Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme (CSP/NIP) is providing SUFEGOR to support the implementation of the second phase of the NSPSR planned for 2012-2016.

(Source - By James Emejo  in ThisDay)  

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