The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has assured that no worker in the state will be sacked as a result of ongoing reforms to reposition the civil service for optimal performance and efficient service delivery.
Obaseki gave the assurance during an interactive session with civil servants who are undergoing training at the John Odigie Oyegun Civil Service Training Academy in Benin City, Edo State capital.
The governor noted that the ongoing reform is aimed at strengthening and retooling the civil service, bestowing the workers with tools and skills that stand them out so as to ensure efficiency, productivity and drive sustainable development.
He reassured that no civil servant will lose their job but rather they will be trained and introduced to technology to enable them deliver efficient services to Edo people and contribute their quota to the development of the state.
According to him, “The priority of my administration is re-tooling the Civil Service with the aim of strengthening it to deliver efficient services. If you want government policies to succeed, you must strengthen the people and institutions that have the constitutional responsibility to ensure the delivery of those services.
“We are undertaking reforms to make the public and civil service of the state to be one of the strongest, if not in the sub-continent but in Nigeria.
“We are training our civil servants to enable them to do their job well. We need to bring in more people into the civil service and make sure that they are clear on what they will be doing when hired.”
Obaseki continued: “Government can’t deliver services to its people if the civil servants who are supposed to help the government are not properly trained. These facilities have been built and people brought in to train our workers, making them understand what their challenges are and redesign the system to make it work better”.
“The training will be a continuous one, exposing civil servants to technology and bringing in more people into the service.
“The average age in our civil service is about 45 years. We need to bring in younger people to reduce that because in the next five to seven years, 50 per cent of the people in the service will be retiring and we don’t want to wait till then to bring in these people. Let’s bring in younger people now, who the older workers will pass on some of the experience to”.
On her part, Chairman, Edo State Civil Service Commission, Princess Ekiuwa Inneh, thanked the governor for institutional reforms in the civil service as well as the prompt payment of salaries, which she said, “has become a motivating factor for Edo State Government workers.”
She said the state’s civil service is aging, with many of the workers cropped in the middle and at the top levels, noting, “this is as a result of people exiting through natural processes like death, retirement and upward mobility with no corresponding recruitment over the years.”
“Even if we recruit 1,000 persons to level 8, it will take some time before they mature and grow. We are robbing minds with the governor on how to fill some of these positions.”