|Dr Joe Abah, Director General (DG) of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR)|
The Public Service: onwards and upwards!
While acknowledging that there are no silver bullets for reforms, Dr Abah noted 'that the government has made a substantial impact with the introduction and roll-out of the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System, saving the nation about N185 billion’ which hitherto had been lost to the ghost worker syndrome.
In the area of electoral reforms, Dr Abah pointed out that despite the poor turn-out in the Anambra election, the Ekiti and Osun elections were better conducted. 'Generally things have improved from the Maurice Iwu’s days' said Dr Abah.
While lamenting the strikes in the health sector and the high cost of tertiary care, Dr Abah underscored the sector's achievements, including the total eradication of guinea worm, 80% polio immunity coverage across the country, and noted that the World Health Organisation not only gave Nigeria a clean bill of health on the handling of Ebola but references it as a lead case study in containing the deadly disease.
Dr Abah also pointed out progress in the education, power, transport and petroleum sectors, highlighting the impressive achievement of the e-wallet system coming from the agricultural sector which now makes it possible for farmers to get fertilizers directly.
Dr Abah further talked about a public perception survey carried out by BPSR and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2014, which felt the public pulse on attitudes toward government reforms in some key sectors. Dr Abah went on to say results from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) surveyed, showed that most Nigerians got their news from radio and that the telecommunication and petroleum sectors were rated highest in terms of impact and access respectively.
Dr Abah also talked about the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms which once approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will provide the road map for executing reform programmes.