It is a great delight for me to be here today on this occasion, combining the Public Service Commemorative Week and the launch of a new Public Service Reform Initiative.

As I join the Head of Service to welcome dignitaries to this occasion, I also felicitate the entire Public Service of our Sunshine State on this year’s occasion of Public Service Anniversary.  I say Happy Anniversary!

The Public Service Week, birthed by the Tangier Declaration in Morocco in 1994, is a properly-placed anniversary in view of the tangible and intangible roles of the Public Service in the development of African States.  In Nigeria, in general and Ondo State in particular, since its creation, Public Service has played a central role in governance to the extent that one cannot imagine a flow of governance in its absence.  I even wonder at times if public servants understand the enormity of the obligations and responsibilities placed on them in governance–service delivery matrix.  I say this because public servants seem to know and demonstrate, a great deal, less.  Without flattering, let me say that, notwithstanding your anonymous status, your influence in governance is great.

This brings to the fore, the necessity for efficiency and effectiveness in your service delivery.  As we acknowledge and celebrate the Public Service today, one can rightly say that it is deserving as no administration can fly higher than the delivery capacity and capability of its bureaucracy.  It is also true that having a good harmonious working relationship with the bureaucracy, political authorities at all levels can surmount most of the hurdles in the way to achieving developmental programmes, policies and projects.

Without your co-operation, our administration wouldn’t have recorded the modest feats made on all our election pledges. Your cooperation, understanding and commitment can never be taken for granted. We, therefore, pledge that, in thought and actions, this Government will continually give priority consideration to the Public Service, notwithstanding our lean financial resources. 

I am glad to hear your good testimonies on payment of salaries, prompt promotion, regular elevation, payment of inherited salary arrears, provision of working tools and enabling environment for the service to thrive, among others.  With our background knowledge of how bureaucracy works, these are the least to offer for the system to grow.  We would keep doing more, as much as practicable.

Once again, I congratulate the entire State Public Service on this auspicious occasion of the 2019 edition of the Public Service Week Anniversary.

Now to the second leg of today’s programme – the new Public Service Reform.

It is true as mentioned that I have, at several fora, urged the Public Service to pace up with the momentum and tempo of our administration.  Let me reiterate that the time has come that the Public Service must do certain things and stop doing some others, not only to survive but to prosper.

I have read the package and have been briefed that, the new reform initiative to be launched today will offer the road map for the rebirth of the Service.  Every discerning mind should know that the Bureaucracy, in its present form, is broken and therefore, needs to be fixed.  I salute and support the courage of the Head of Service to take up the gauntlet.  The approach adopted is not foreign but home-grown.  To me, the whole reform package is a reminder not a revelation.  A reminder to do things as we ought to; a deep search of our inner recesses to deal with the fault-lines of the current practices; a wake-up call and a value rebirth.  I cannot agree more that this is what the Public Service needs today.

As you embark on this reform, I urge you to give priority attention to good work ethics, probity, revenue generation, and assets maintenance.  Do not, in any way, allow yourselves to be used to sabotage Government’s development efforts.

As the new Public Service Reform – the Ondo Service Improvement Programme – ODSIP goes live today, we won’t expect anything less than the demonstration of the motto of the reform, which is “To Give My Best”.  I look forward to a dedicated, resourceful, professional and reengineered bureaucracy in the State.  Please give your best as promised.  You have my full support for this reform as your patron.

On this note, Ladies and Gentlemen, I shall proceed to unveil the Ondo Service Improvement Programme – ODSIP.

Thank you for listening.

A speech by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State. Read more speeches

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