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Innovative Contest: HoCSF Reiterates Commitment To Innovation Drive In Public Service

"The overall objective of the competition is to develop new ideas/mechanism with a view to providing cheaper, quality and accessible service to the citizenry." Yemi-Esan.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan has maintained that the Office is committed to sustaining and strengthening the structures established to drive innovation in the Public Service.

Dr Folashade Yemi Esan said this was in line with the policy thrust of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 (FCSSIP25)

The Head of Service who explained that the innovation competition was instituted in the year 2020 as part of efforts to reposition and reform the Public Service, added that the overall objective of the competition is to develop new ideas/mechanism with a view to providing cheaper, quality and accessible service to the citizenry.

Dr Esan disclosed this in her keynote address delivered during the Award Ceremony of the 4th edition of the Annual Federal Civil Service Innovation Competition, organised by the Office on Monday 25th March, 2024.

She affirmed that since the first edition in 2020, the Civil Service has been able to deploy several in-house solutions into the system for effective service delivery. 

According to her, "These include: The Compro Computer Based Test (CBT) Application for the Conduct of Confirmation Exams in the Civil Service; Anonymous Reporting System (ARS), which is a whistle blowing application; and Office Space Management Solution, which has helped the Office to re-allocate and manage office spaces in the various phases of the Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja.”

Dr Esan revealed that during the last week, the Office commenced the Pre-Promotion Training for Officers on Salary Grade Level 14, stressing that the application used to conduct the mock assessment exam was developed by an officer in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. 

"The web-based application is secured and has the feature of admitting all the prospective candidates on the portal and assigning unique user I.Ds to participants. This is, in addition to administering exam questions and scoring candidates in real-time," she added.   

She noted that the best can be harnessed from Civil Servants at all levels when they are engaged and provided with the enabling environment to do their work. 

“The notion that Civil Servants lack innovation is a misconception we are determined to overturn”. 

"Our commitment is geared toward the actualization of Priority point number seven (7) of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Ahmed Tinubu’s led Administration which is to “Accelerate Diversification through industrialization, digitization, creative arts, manufacturing and innovation’’. It is instructive to point out that achieving the aforementioned Priority area is key to unlocking Priority Area 8 – Improving governance for effective Service Delivery as well as other Priority areas in the agenda, Dr Esan stated.

Soliciting for the continuous support of stakeholders, both public and private partners, she stressed that it is so, "So that Nigeria Public Service will significantly contribute to improving Nigeria’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index which is 109th among the 132 economies featured in the 2023 rankings, insisting that the Nigeria Civil Service cannot do it alone.

The HoCSF announced that the Star Prize Winner will be awarded the sum of Three Million Naira (N3,000,000), the first runner-up will receive One Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N1,750,000), while the second runner–up will be presented with the sum of One Million Naira (N1,000,000). Ten other innovators will receive the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200, 000) each as consolation prizes.

In her Opening Remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties Office (OHCSF) Dr. Ajani stated that the 'bureaucratic and slow to change' tag on the Public Service has put the system under pressure to adapt and innovate to meet the evolving needs of citizens, improve service delivery, and enhance societal outcomes, hence the institutionalisation and implementation of Innovation Service.

She stated that the Office, in its vision to build a world class, effective and responsive Civil Service has remained committed towards the institutionalization of innovation in the Federal Civil Service via the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP – 2020) and the successor plan (FCSSIP – 2025).

Dr. Ajani stated further that the Innovation Competition provides a veritable platform to showcase and celebrate the ingenuity, creativity and problem-solving prowess of Civil Servants. It also encourages officers to identify problems in the Service, proffer solutions and propose suitable approaches to solving the problems.

In their goodwill messages, the Honourable Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani commended the Head of Service's visionary and exemplary leadership. 

He stated that innovation competition would spur Civil Service to greatness and make it more competitive. 

The Chairman Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters, Senator Oluwole Fasuyi, opined that Civil Service is the engine room of the government that transforms political manifestos into policies.

Other goodwill messages came from the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji Nwakaibie; the Chairman House Committee on Public Service Matters, Honourable Sani Umar Bala; Managing Director Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammed Bello Abubakar among others.

This was disclosed in a press statement by Mohammed Ahmed Director, Communications of the office of the Head of Service of the Federation.

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