By Oluwakemi Ishola
…says it’s time to reform civil service
Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Thursday swore in three permanent secretaries and members of the state’s Civil Service Commission, declaring that the time to reform the service is now.
Governor Makinde, who also charged the newly appointed permanent secretaries and commission members to serve the state diligently in their new capacities, also stated that the jobs of the officials are well cut out for them in view of the enormous glaring need for reforms.
While performing the swearing-in of Mrs. Felicia Foluke Oyediran, Mrs. Adenike Modupe Olufadewa and Mrs. Foluke Olufemi Moradeyo as permanent secretaries, the governor said that his administration has shown gender sensitivity and respect for merit with their appointments.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the separate swearing-in ceremonies were held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, with adherence to COVID-19 protocols on social distancing and wearing of face masks.
Governor Makinde at the two events, charged the permanent secretaries and the Oyo State Civil Service Commission to see their new appointments as a call to service, noting that service to the state should be of paramount importance.
He said: “I congratulate the new permanent secretaries. I want to say that you earned this position. You have shown dedication and commitment in your various work environments and you have paid your dues over the years as well.
“I think we should be applauded for being gender-sensitive. We don’t discriminate. If you earn your position and have put in hard work, there is no glass ceiling in Oyo State as far as gender is concerned.
“Out of the three of you, I know one of you personally. For the other two, we just met in the course of our work. What that means is, if you are known to me personally, it should not be a barrier for you to attain the position that you have earned. Even if you are not known to me, it is still the same thing.
“As an administration, we try our best to motivate the workforce and ensure we deliver on our mandate to the people of Oyo State. And I never asked anyone among the new permanent secretaries about their political inclination. What matters to me is that you are from Oyo State and you have served diligently to earn your position. So, I want to use you as a point of contact to those in the workforce and are hopeful that they will, one day, attain this position.
“Let me also warn that you still have to serve your time in that position and we will all live to meet outside of those positions. What is important is our service to the people of Oyo State and also making sure that our state is better in the course of our service. This is a call to service and I wish you all well.”
While addressing the five-man Oyo State Civil Service Commission including Alhaji Kamordeen Aderibigbe (chairman); Alhaji Kolapo Isiak Adewale; Mr. Olutoyin Adedeji Akanmu; Chief Solomon Ogunjimi and Pastor Taiwo Oluwagbemiro, Governor Makinde said he was confident the members of the commission were up to the task.
The governor, who maintained that the tasks ahead of the government, which the newly inaugurated commission must key into include civil service reform, training and retraining of the workforce as well as exploring e-governance, among others.
He said: “I want to congratulate the chairman and members of the Oyo State Civil Service Commission and I welcome you on board. The chairman taught me in primary 6 and, with this, I want to say that the rewards of teachers are no longer in heaven. If you put in hard work, you never know when your students will show up.
“We have confidence in you and we know you can do the work. As they were reading your brief citations, you notice that everybody observed that you have all seen the four walls of higher institutions. So, gone are the days when they say that only the backward people in the society are involved in politics.
“We can now see that we have bright people participating in politics. We want to keep that going within our political environment. We want more people who have the knowledge to come in and participate. We say politics is dirty but if we leave it with only the dirty people, then it cannot get better.
“You are coming on board at an auspicious time in our history. It is time for us to reform the civil service. You have to put in the hard work so you can have your work cut out for you. I do not entertain any shred of doubt that you have the capacity, competence and will to carry out the necessary reform in the Oyo State civil service.
“When we came in, I had several discussions with the Head of Service; the way promotions and welfare of the civil servants have been handled. To reform the civil service, we have to put in training and retraining of the civil servants. So, it is one area I believe you can make your mark and make sure that you push our agenda to bring more knowledge to the civil service.
“One other thing I want to mention is the issue of e-governance. We can put all infrastructure in place but if we don’t have people who can drive it, We have to reduce the paperwork to get our governance structure to go digital.
“This may be the last time we will be doing things manually. Some of the workers see computers as something meant for word processing, though I used to be like that in the past in the early 90s. But people do quite a lot of things there and that is important for the e-governance that we are looking at. So, I look forward to people like yourselves to champion all of these reforms, and you can rest assured that you will get the necessary support from the state government to pull this through.”