By: Oluwatosin Adesola
Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN, CON, has declared that the theme of this year’s “Leveraging Bureaucratic Potential for the Promotion of Investments in Ondo State”, will equip up and coming public servants with immense, knowledge, wisdom and guidance towards efficiency in service delivery.
The governor stressed that the impact of Public Servants at both national and Subnational levels cannot be underestimated, stating categorically that it is impossible to imagine a flow of governance without it.
Speaking at the Public Service Lecture, commemorating the Public Service Week Celebration 2023, held at the International Culture and Events Centre (The Dome) Akure, Governor Akeredolu said the Public service plays such an important role in government, implying it serves as the stabilizer and enduring face of government.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu, the Governor said the theme of the event: “Leveraging Bureaucratic Potential for the Promotion of Investments in Ondo State”, will equip up and coming public servants with immense, knowledge, wisdom and guidance towards efficiency in service delivery.
Pointing out that the lecture was well-timed, Akeredolu explained that with the recently concluded State Investment Summit tagged: Develop ONDO 2.0, it is imperative for the bureaucracy to be reminded of its roles and rules in the business of growing the economy.
According to him, “In our drive for the rebirth of bureaucratic input into the pursuit of investment promotion in Ondo State, our administration will never undervalue your teamwork, understanding and commitment. We shall, in thought and action, continue to give precedence to the welfare of public servants, notwithstanding the State’s lean finances amidst other competing demands because without your cooperation, we would not have recorded the modest feats achieved in all our policy targets”
“it is my hope that this relationship will continue to wax stronger. I am glad to note that many workers, by their diligence, resilience and industry have been doing us proud at their duty posts by their display of commitment to excellent service. We look forward to more of your noble deeds”. He said.
As regards governments’ effort at empathizing with the public workforce due to economic crunch he said “You may wish to note that following the hardship occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal, the State Government put in place an equitable distribution of palliatives to people from all social strata, in the espoused values of sensitivity for our dear people”.
Governor Akeredolu said further, “I am glad to hear your good testimonies on payment of salaries, prompt and up-to-date promotion with financial benefits, regular elevation to Accounting Officer’s status, payment of inherited salary arrears, training and retraining, provision of working tools and enabling environment for the service to thrive, among others. Our Administration will continue to do more”.
“In our resolve towards qualitative, improved and accessible healthcare system for public servants, we launched the Orange Health Care Insurance Scheme (ORANGHIS) to create a sustainable funding mechanism that lowers financial barrier to healthcare of public servants. I am happy that with the understanding of the labour unions, public servants have bought into the laudable scheme. We are equally boldly tackling the issue of pension and gratuity”. He assured.
Akeredolu added “it cannot be overstressed that the time has come that all public servants must put in their best at all times in the overall interest of the system. As important stakeholders in the Ondo State project, our primary responsibility is to uphold the integrity of our beloved State and foster accountability and transparency in official transactions, even at all levels of government”.
Earlier, the Ondo State Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogunleye noted that the annual celebration was crucial even as he stressed that the public service must at all times be rejuvenated to value its roles as the machinery for implementing government policies.
Ogundele who appreciated the Governor for putting the welfare of workers in the front burner added “Our homegrown Reform Initiative, ODSIP, approved by Mr. Governor and driven by the Office of the Head of Service, is making remarkable progress in the entrenchment of the value and virtue of our service. Service delivery is being boosted through digitization of personnel-related records.”
“The topic of this year’s Public Service Week is ‘Leveraging on Bureaucratic Potentials for the Promotion of Investment in Ondo State”. The topic of discourse is considered very apt and topical. The Guest Speaker is expected to dissect the topic to enable the Public Servants to know that they have pivotal roles to play in the State economic regeneration.
“The Public Service must at all times be refreshed to appreciate its roles as the machinery for implementing government policies and how to stay safe and protected in the political environment.
“Also, this year’s Public Service Week was specially designed to engage public workers in interactive sessions with the Head of Service. The interactive meetings could not be held in the Northern, Central and Southern senatorial districts as we did in year 2022 for obvious reason but we hope to revert to this arrangement next year by God’s grace.
“However, workers’ representatives were invited from the zones to participate in this year’s celebration. And this will invariably afford the workforce, especially those outside the State capital a sense of belonging not only on the celebration but also in the workings of the Service.
“Workers were guided on the necessity for adherence to Public Service Rules and were urged to demonstrate unflinching loyalty to government of the day. Above all, the gospel of the Redeemed Agenda was explicitly spread to enable public servants to key into the policy direction of Government.
“In this welcome message, I cannot but mention that the present Administration has placed the welfare of workers in the front burner as the workers continue to enjoy regular promotion as and when due with financial benefits. Our home grown Reform Initiative, ODSIP, approved by Mr. Governor and driven by the Office of the Head of Service, is making remarkable progress in the entrenchment of value and virtue of our service.
“Service delivery is being boosted through digitization of personnel related records. For example, we have improved our Human Resource (HR) administration across all HR processes such as payroll, transfer, promotions, recruitment and training while in-service capacity training has been enhanced through the instrumentality of the reinvigorated Public Service Training Institute (PSTI).
“Our reviewed Public Service Rules have enhanced workers’ welfare in several areas. The rules have become more stringent on gender related issues in addition to other provisions that depoliticise the Service and strengthen its professionalism.
“We want to assure Mr Governor that more than ever before, the Public Service is poised to retool itself by itself, for quality service delivery. We shall not rest on our oars!” Ogundele said.
The highlight of the Public Lecture event was the presentation of new SUV vehicles to 30 serving Permanent Secretaries in the state; a gesture which confirms the welfare of workers remains a top priority for the Akeredolu-Led administration.