Press Release

The Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Dr. Joe Abah has been conferred with the patriotic citizen award of Fellowship in Public Policy by the Institute for Government Research Leadership Technology.
At the investiture ceremony in Abuja on Friday 24th April 2015 tagged annual lecture and fellowship investiture with the theme executive health, the Institute explained that the central purpose of the award is as a result of Dr. Abah’s adherence to sound ethics, governance and innovations introduced in the running of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms. It added that the decision was taken after a painstaking research on the understanding that he will continue to contribute in the improvement of the Public Service Policy, general administration and strategy deployment.
The Institute with the mission to promote learning and training through cutting edge research with stakeholders globally inducted forty eight eminent Nigerians as Patriotic Citizens at the ceremony.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Danladi Kifasi has underscored the importance of hand over notes in the public service, particularly one that provides key knowledge and information regarding the state of affairs of a ministry and its agencies and parastatals, so that the period of transition can be as short and smooth as possible.
Kifasi said this today while delivering a key note address at the BPSR organized Workshop on Ministerial Handover Briefings for Directors in MDAs
He said that this year’s transition was unique in the sense that since the return to democratic rule in 1999, government was changing from one political party to another and for this reason the incoming government would require relevant information, in order to enable it effectively take over the reins of government as quickly as possible.
According to him, “New Ministers need to have key information that they require about their roles, the ministries that they will superintend, the issues that they need to focus on and the key stakeholders that they would need to engage with. The information that they receive should be complete, particularly with regards to key issues, such as current status of key initiatives in the ministry and the management resources, both human and capital”, he further said.
The Head of Service warned civil servants on the danger of withholding information or failing to provide adequate information, describing it as unprofessional, unethical and unnecessary, adding that information could only be hidden for a while and soon the state of affairs would emerge.
He however advised civil servants to improve their ability to be complete in the way they write, which was why this training workshop was coming at opportune time, and why the body of permanent secretaries also welcomed the initiative for the training.
The Head of service hoped that with this important workshop they can now support the development of Ministerial hand over notes that are consistent in terms of quality, scope and content, while allowing the idiosyncrasies of each Ministry
The Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms, BPSR, Dr Joe Abah, while speaking at the workshop noted that preparation of hand over notes often suffered some glaring pitfalls such as lack of coordination between mainline Ministries and agencies, uneven in quality, with some being very good and others being very poor; some hand over notes can range from just 5 pages to more than 500 pages, adding that it was in trying to establish consistency in writing the hand over notes that was the reason behind organizing the workshop.
He commended the DFID Federal Public Administration Reform Programme(FEPAR) for its technical and logistical support towards successful hosting of the workshop.

The Public Service: onwards and upwards!

On 17 March, Dr Joe Abah, Director General (DG) of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) met civil society, media, and political parties at a Policy Dialogue in Abuja, Nigeria. Speaking at the one-day event organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Dr Abah said 'the Nigerian Government’s efforts to reform the Public Service is beginning to see significant gains in the area of service delivery'

While acknowledging that there are no silver bullets for reforms, Dr Abah noted 'that the government has made a substantial impact with the introduction and roll-out of the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System, saving the nation about N185 billion’ which hitherto had been lost to the ghost worker syndrome.

In the area of electoral reforms, Dr Abah pointed out that despite the poor turn-out in the Anambra election, the Ekiti and Osun elections were better conducted. 'Generally things have improved from the Maurice Iwu’s days' said Dr Abah.

While lamenting the strikes in the health sector and the high cost of tertiary care, Dr Abah underscored the sector's achievements, including the total eradication of guinea worm, 80% polio immunity coverage across the country, and noted that the World Health Organisation not only gave Nigeria a clean bill of health on the handling of Ebola but references it as a lead case study in containing the deadly disease.

Dr Abah also pointed out progress in the education, power, transport and petroleum sectors, highlighting the impressive achievement of the e-wallet system coming from the agricultural sector which now makes it possible for farmers to get fertilizers directly.

Dr Abah further talked about a public perception survey carried out by BPSR and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2014, which felt the public pulse on attitudes toward government reforms in some key sectors. Dr Abah went on to say results from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) surveyed, showed that most Nigerians got their news from radio and that the telecommunication and petroleum sectors were rated highest in terms of impact and access respectively.

Dr Abah also talked about the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms which once approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will provide the road map for executing reform programmes.

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On 5 March, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoS), Danladi Kifasi, met the Director General (DG) of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Dr Joe Abah to discuss the launch of a project to systematically raise up quality leaders in the civil service. This was the first visit of the Head of Service to the Abuja based offices of BPSR.

HoS, Danladi Kifasi said 'The Leadership and Succession Planning project seeks to ensure good leaders are identified, trained and appropriately positioned in the civil service. The commencement of the training next month will mark the beginning of this great endeavour'

The Leadership project has a well developed curriculum that will guide the training of the top tiers of government.

DG BPSR, Joe Abah said 'My team has been supporting the leadership project led by the Head of Service and for the first time in the history of the civil service we have a systematic approach to raising up quality leaders to serve the country.'

‘I am very impressed with the collaboration between my Office and BPSR on the Leadership programme.’ said Kifasi

On 12 March 2015, the National Steering Committee on Public Service Reforms approved a National Strategy on Public Service Reforms (NSPSR) for presentation to the Federal Executive Council in April.

The Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Dr. Joe Abah, said ‘This is big news and very exciting. The National Strategy provides a common vision and a long-term agenda to guide the transformation of the federal public service. The NSPSR is comprehensive, long term, and is aligned with Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 with the goal of positioning the country in the 20 leading economies in the world by 2020'

The NSPSR is primarily a coordinating mechanism. Many reforms already take place across the public service, but not all of them are communicated. The NSPSR brings all the separate strands of public service reform together, to make better linkages and ensuring these are communicated, and it introduces more effective monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of reforms.

'The vision of the the NSPSR is to build a world-class public service delivering government policies effectively and implementing programmes with professionalism, integrity, excellence, and passion to secure sustainable national development. The approval of the NSPSR is a cornerstone event on the journey to enacting this vision. ’ said Abah.

The three phases contained in the National Strategy that lead to the vision that Dr. Joe Abah is talking about are:


  1. Transform the public service with emphasis on critical institutional changes, restoring professionalism and client focus, and delivering effective basic services by 2017
  2. Reinvigorate the public service into a value-based, strong, and well-performing institution by 2020
  3. Attain world-class levels of service delivery in the public service by 2025

The NSPSR was developed by the Nigerian Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

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