|Dr. Joe Abah|
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
PRESS STATEMENT BY DR JOE ABAH, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, BUREAU OF PUBLIC SERVICE REFORMS ON THE LAUNCH OF KEY PUBLICATIONS ON GOVERNANCE REFORMS.
PRESS STATEMENT BY DR JOE ABAH, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, BUREAU OF PUBLIC SERVICE REFORMS ON THE LAUNCH OF KEY PUBLICATIONS ON GOVERNANCE REFORMS ON 16 DECEMBER 2015.
BPSR’s key role is ensuring that government organisations work better for improved service delivery to Nigerians. We are pleased to present 4 publications that form part of our efforts this year to ensure that we measure the impact of government activities on citizens; that our agencies are better equipped to deliver their mandates; that we restructure the mechanisms for delivering government services and; that we learn the lessons from what works to improve what doesn’t yet work.
Our publication, titled “Public Service Reforms in Nigeria, 1999-2014: A Comprehensive Review”, assesses the impact of all key governance reforms in Nigeria since 1999. It presents perhaps the most comprehensive review of the state of our public services ever undertaken in Nigeria. The 500-page document identifies the problems that need to be addressed, the efforts to address them, the challenges that remain and what needs to be done next. It also gives BPSR’s assessment of the success and impact of each reform activity.
Agencies and parastatals of government are vitally important for delivering government priorities. They have the autonomy, legal backing and resources to deliver services directly to citizens and the performance of any government is often judged by the performance of its agencies and parastatals. However, many chief executives and heads of agencies are appointed with little or no public service delivery experience.
To address this gap, BPSR has published a guide on “How to Manage and Reform Agencies and Parastatals. The document provides simple guidance for chief executives of agencies and parastatals on how to run government agencies effectively. It covers issues such as Leadership, Strategic Governance, Procurement, Service Delivery, Human Resource Management and Performance Management. Best of all, the guide is complemented with a Self Assessment Tool with which agencies and parastatals can assess their own performance against local and international best practice. The Tool has already been piloted at the Federal Road Safety Commission and the Abuja Enterprise Agency, and BPSR has held an introductory meeting with the Nigerian Communications Commission to deploy the tool in that organisation. Other organisations, like EFCC, have indicated their willingness to pilot the Tool.
Recently, the Federal Government announced the merger of some Ministries, such as Power, Works and Housing. BPSR is part of the Presidential committee operationalizing the mergers. To guide the merger and restructuring of all Ministries, BPSR has produced a document titled “Guiding Principles for Merging and Restructuring Ministries, Departments and Agencies.” This will ensure that the due diligence required in merging and restructuring Ministries is undertaken, thoughtfully, professionally and with regards to both the welfare of staff and the delivery of service to citizens.
Finally, Nigeria is faced with many serious challenges, the most prominent of which is corruption. Some of these problems seem intractable and many Nigerians despair as to whether or not we can ever successfully tackle them. However, in the recent past, we grappled with a similarly serious problem: that of Ebola. Nigeria successfully tackled Ebola and its response has been hailed by the international community as an example of best practice. If we could successfully tackle Ebola, can we similarly tackle corruption, unsteady power supply, insecurity and other major problems we have? This is the subject of our publication on “How Nigeria Contained Ebola: Lessons for Institutional Reform.” We find that that Nigeria’s success in containing Ebola was attributable to a combination of factors that included seriousness in confronting a threat to our national survival, intergovernmental cooperation, media support and public awareness, and isolation of the problem. BPSR is of the opinion that we can learn lessons from how we responded to this threat to improve our management of other challenges to our development as a nation, such as corruption, insecurity and unsteady power supply.
In 2016, we look forward to better functioning Ministries, Departments and Agencies that can deliver better governance to Nigerians. We would like to assure Nigerians that government has the political will and technical capability to ensure that we attain the functional, equitable and peaceful Nigeria that we all expect and deserve.
God bless Nigeria.