What can be called a fundamental change has been instituted in the Lagos State Civil Service. Henceforth, elevation of any person to the position of Permanent Secretary will now be based on examination and rigorous interviews, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu declared on Wednesday.
Besides, the Governor said the regular promotion of civil servants from one level to another would be based “strongly” on performance – a move disrupting the grade level model being used by the Civil Service.
Sanwo-Olu introduced the new rules at the launch of knowledge-sharing platform tagged: “A Disruptive S.H.i.F.T” at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in the Secretariat, Alausa. The event, organised by the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, was created with an objective to harness the creativity and innovativeness of civil servants to transform the State’s public service into a 21st century workforce.
S.H.i.F.T is an acronym for Simple, High-Impact, interactive, Focused, Transformational.
According to the Governor, the reward system in the Lagos public service must be performance-based, saying the scheme would bring back the culture of commitment to work.
He said: “From today on, I assure you that our public service will be performance based. For anyone to be appointed as a Permanent Secretary, such person will have to sit for an examination and pass through interview process. If we use the Permanent Secretary as a testimony, everyone will know that it is performance based, and not based on connection. It was something we started years ago and I think we have to go back to it.”
Sanwo-Olu urged civil servants to demonstrate high level commitment in their various areas of duty and be mentors to their colleagues in the lower cadre of service. The Governor said the innovative programme brought an opportunity for those in the employment of the State to learn, unlearn and relearn for improved service delivery.
For developing a user-friendly mobile application named “Alausa sabi” to aid seamless communication and efficiency of the entire Lagos Government workforce, Seun Ogunmolu, a Level 8 officer in the Ministry of Budget and Planning, got a reward of double promotion to Level 10 from Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was visibly thrilled by the wizardry of the young civil servant.
The Governor was also thrilled by presentation of a Level 15 officer, Mrs Temitope George, who raised the need by the civil servant to shift their mindsets to a more productive and innovative engagement, which, she said, must be anchored on respect.
Sanwo-Olu said: “We believe the future is with the young people. If you check the demography of Lagos, the youth are the future. So, we are going to use Seun as an example to demonstrate that there is hope for the youth.
“Seun is a Level 8 officer, who, for the past three and half years, is due for promotion to Level 9. But, for this high-level performance he displayed, he will be earning a double promotion to Level 10.”
The Governor commended the two speakers at the event, Mrs George and Ogunmolu for leading innovation in their respective areas of duty, disclosing that the both would be nominated for National Productivity Award.
He assured that his administration would continue to reward personnel that demonstrated high-level commitment and performance in the discharge of their duties.
Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, said the S.H.i.F.T. initiative was about changing the way “we think, behave and do things.”
She said: “The objectives of the S.H.i.F.T programme is to share innovation and creative ideas that will move the State public service into the 21st century workforce. It seeks to connect knowledgeable resource persons within and outside the State public service to the generality of the public servants.
“It will bring together people with different perspectives so they can understand each other better and to empower everyone to share their knowledge for the benefit of the rest of the State public service.
“The platform will facilitate employee communication and engagements. It will keep public servants abreast of modern trends in identified subject areas and serves as a means of public communication.”