Buhari Blames Lack Of Vision For Declining Civil Service | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari Blames Lack Of Vision For Declining Civil Service

Posted: Sep 7, 2015 at 8:33 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday attributed the decline in Nigeria’s civil service to the inability to clearly articulate a vision and develop required capacity to implement it.

He made the point at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while launching the Capacity Building Programmes for Public Servants, Structured Mandatory Assessment-based Training Programme (SMAT-P) and Leadership Enhancement And Development Programme (LEAD-P).

Represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the President said those who mourn the decline of the civil service from its heydays of ‘primus inter pares’ in the Commonwealth to one with a reputation for inefficiency, low productivity, corruption and insensitivity to the needs of the public, erroneously think the problem is a poverty of ideas and capacity on the part of the civil service.

However, “it is the inability to clearly articulate a vision, ensure that the service develops the required capacity to articulate and implement the various components of the vision.

“Here, we are launching capacity building initiatives designed to strengthen the leadership at all levels in the service and build a new performance management system. But the fundamental questions are: what is the ethos, the ethical and ideological world view that the service is to deliver?

“To what purpose do we deploy leadership skills and for what ends? How can we measure performance when the

objective itself is unclear?

“Without clear answers to these questions, the service will grope in the dark and take the government and people along with it on a blind-leading-the-blind voyage. So, what sort of country do we envision? We want to build a nation with the citizen as its reason for being and thus its sole focus and responsibility.

“The citizen, regardless of station in life, must be respected by the governing authorities and treated with dignity. Flowing from these is the imperative that our society must be governed by the rule of law administered by a trustworthy, fearless, impartial and efficient judiciary”, Buhari pointed out.

He noted that federal civil servants were the foot soldiers in Nigeria’s march to a great destiny, and expressed his belief that they would not fail Nigerians.

To realise this, he stressed that “an army cannot afford indiscipline, inefficiency or lack of focus, especially because the hopes and aspirations of a whole society rest on your shoulders”.

He also advised the service to cultivate the habit of scoring itself not in enforcing processes and procedures but as to how efficient and expeditious they have enabled businesses to be.

He added: “What are the strategic and financial planning initiatives important in a strong private sector-led, free market economy but with a robust social protection system for the poor majority?”

Earlier, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi, had pointed out that the overall objective of the programmes was to address capacity and leadership challenges in the civil service.

He noted that the programmes were funded mainly from the training budgets of the MDAs and delivered by the Nigerian Management Development Institute.

Kifasi said in the absence of ministers, Buhari had helped to restore the confidence of the civil service by depending on it for support in governing the country.

He further pledged the support of the service to the incumbent administration in its bid to bring about positive and sustainable change in the country.