The Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, has said that talented civil servants are leaving the service due to better offers from other sectors.

Oya-Ita said efforts were ongoing to address staff welfare such as benefits and salaries of civil servants.

She stated this in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, at the commencement of a two-day retreat for members of the Project Management Teams for the implementation of the 2017-2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan.

The Head of Service also stated that the Federal Government would save at least N120bn in the next three years from the ongoing reforms being carried out by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

According to her, civil servants are being offered mouth-watering jobs outside the service, which they cannot reject

She said, “People are leaving because they have qualifications, skills and talents that are being sought after outside the civil service and they are being offered mouth-watering juicy offers outside.

“You cannot ask somebody to stay, no matter how patriotic, in an employment where he is almost living like a pauper. So, this is one of the issues that we are basically going to address and we have a specific management team that is looking into civil service staff welfare benefits and salaries.”

Speaking on the ongoing reforms being carried out by the OHCSF, Oyo-Ita stated that the implementation of the strategy would save N120bn from cleaning data on human resources from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.

She said in order to reposition the federal civil service for optimum service delivery in line with the current administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the OHCSF charted a new course for the service to make it efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen centred.

Oyo-Ita added, “It is important to re-emphasise that the implementation of the strategy is expected to deliver between N60bn and N120bn savings from cleaning HR data on the IPPIS; N2.5bn annual savings from digitalising content; and at least 25,000 civil servants trained through revamped core modules.

“The new trajectory for the civil service after engagements with several relevant stakeholders culminated in the 2017-2020 strategy of the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, which was launched in February 2017.

“This is a civil service reform that is home-grown; it is not brought to us by the World Bank or some foreign donor. It is a think tank output, which has resulted in a strategy document that will lift and push the service to a world class status.”

In her remarks, the representative of Africa Initiative for Governance, an indigenous donor organisation to support implementation of the strategy, Chinasa Ken-Ugwuh, said a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2017 to drive the process.

“The public servants, by virtue of their responsibilities and authority for public policy formulation and implementation, wield transformative power over the lives of citizens and when this power is wielded positively, we see its impact in rankings such as ease of doing business, improvements in human development indices and so on,” she added.

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