GARKI, ABUJA, NIGERIA.
Aliyu Umar Aliyu,
The Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Dasuki I. Arabi, has commended the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for what he described as its roles in tackling humanitarian and social challenges in the country.
He made the commendation on Thursday, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Permanent Secretary of the ministry.
Arabi said the ministry has fared well in its expectation, through the provision of proactive strategies, disaster mitigations and implementation of social inclusive programmes in the country.
According to the DG, “The attendant consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural disasters has also asserted pressure on Humanitarian challenges and the need for the ministry to respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“Concerned with the need to ensure availability of social interventions programmes in line with the presidential directive of lifting 100milllion Nigerians out of poverty, the Bureau conducted a workshop in 2020 to identify the service delivery challenges around Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and other social intervention programmes.
“Also, concerns of the vulnerability of persons displaced from the insurgent regions in the North-East poses another humanitarian challenge on their need to rehabilitate them remains paramount,” he added.
The DG however said the government alone cannot handle the humanitarian challenges, adding that there is the need to interface with the private sector including bi-lateral and multilateral development partners to provide well-planned policies and programmes.
He then promised that the bureau will continue to support the ministry to deliver on its mandate and provide effective service delivery to citizens.
Responding, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary said the six MDAs under them alongside the mandate of the ministry are presently impacting lives across the country.
He explained that, “The flagship programme of the Ministry is the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) which is impacting positively in over 500 Local Governments in all the States of the federation. We are intervening and impacting on the elderly, livelihood skills for the unemployed youth and the home-grown school feeding programme for school children.
“All these programmes are innovation under the Social Investment programme under this Administration. And they are being implemented under the various clusters as follows; Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and N - Power,” he explained.
On the Main Reform in terms of the entire Civil Service, the Ministry according to the Permanent Secretary is also Implementing the reform imitative from the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) called the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025
“The Reform Department has commenced the processes of sensitizing the Ministry's staff. So far two sensitizations have been carried out and the process will continue to ensure full understanding of the programme and implementing it to the full,” he concluded.
The Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) has recently organised the 2022 capacity building on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for its staff/FOI Desk Officers.
Held at the Federal Secretariat Conference Room in Abuja on Monday, 26th September, 2022, the training sought to acquaint the officers with the provisions of the Act.
Speaking at the flag-off of the event, the BPSR Director-General, Dasuki I. Arabi, said the act is expected to guide and improve compliance of Public Institutions in proactive disclosure of mandatory publication requirements, as well as empower Citizens the right to access information held by the state.
He said, “Part of the strategy adopted by Government for the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act amongst others include periodic training programmes for all government agencies on FOIA implementation, and the dedication of desk officers in the management of information in MDAs.
“Good governance and Transparency cannot strive in a Nation where fundamental rights of Access to Information are denied to Citizens, the Freedom of Information Act therefore provides platform for inclusiveness, that seeks to hold leaders to account and feed into the decision – making process,” the DG added.
As a lead Agency for initiating and coordinating Reforms in the Public Sector, BPSR, according to the DG, had in the last few years worked assiduously towards the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and as well working to ensure that the FOIA is institutionalized within the Public Sector.
These interventions, according to Arabi include; Lessons and Exchange programmes on FOI with sister agencies, Membership of the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms (TUGAR), Training of information Officers in Block, Institutionalization of FOI through the BPSR Score card for ranking MDAs websites, Development of a feedback mechanism on the website, through which a portal for application and responses for FOI request are deployed and development a score-card for ranking the performances of websites of Public institutions using specific benchmarks including FOI portal.
Others include creating platforms for citizens engagement with Civil Societies Organizations(CSO) on topical issues of government through the BPSR flagship programmes, such as the monthly Lunch Time Seminar series, Open Government Partnership (OGP), engaging Reform Desk Officers service, deployment of information Technology to provide innovative means to improve record keeping and management in the implementation of FOIA, through intranet system and Electronic Data Management System (EDMS), working in conjunction with the Nigeria Economic Summit Group to gauge the perception of Citizens in Public policies
He also said the bureau has conducted a pilot study on four MDAs of Federal Ministry of Justice, Code of Conduct Bureau, Federal Ministry of Finance and Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation in 2019, with the objective of identifying the bottle-necks impeding the implementation of the Freedom of Information by Public agencies.
The DG also said had in the past few years consistently maintained the top-most position in the FOI National ranking of MDAS score-card for proactive disclosure of Information conducted by coalition of Civil Society Organizations.
Aliyu Umar Aliyu
Ag.Head Strategic Communication Department (BPSR)
28th September, 2022.
The Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dasuki I. Arabi, has said that citizens are at the center of public service reforms as everything revolves around improving their quality of life, either directly or indirectly.
He said the bureau has the sole responsibility of ensuring transparency and accountability in government, most especially on issues that concern public finance and general people’s welfare improvement.
The DG made this known in his presentation at the 2022 CX Africa Summit titled: “The bigger picture: Citizen experience and public service reforms in Nigeria.”
According to him, the purpose of the government is to improve the quality of lives of people and that public service is the only contract that people have with the government, and provide security safety for them.
“The relationship between public service and citizens is that states provide services to people and citizens are supposed to pay their taxes. Kinds of services offered include civic services such as water supply, human development services, basic minimum services and welfare services.
“In general parlance citizens’ engagement connotes the two-way interaction between citizens and governments. This approach gives citizens a stake in decision-making to improve the intermediate and final development outcomes in Public Policy and programmes,” he said.
Arabi also explained that some of the citizens engagement mechanisms adopted by the bureau in reforming Nigeria’s public service include: public hearing, citizen’s interactive portal, internet accessibility and digitalisation, freedom of information, principle of Open Government Partnership (OGP), town hall meetings, perception surveys/impact assessment, Lunch Time Seminar and Self Assessment Tools (SAT).
Also, the DG said to improve service delivery to citizens, BPSR said the Performance Management System (PMS) has the potential of upgrading the quality of service through so many features.
He said, “Some of these features include: aligning all job schedules to Federal Government agenda, giving specific job schedule to each and every civil servant, specifying job schedule to a post and not to an individual and having an objective for every task performed, introduction of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and timelines which will reduce bias in performance rating, using performance as basis for promotion and reducing human interface in the appraisal process when automated.
“Specifically, some of our reforms achievements include: Monitoring & Evaluation Framework, Signing of various international treaties on Anti corruption, Taxation/ Pension Reforms, Enacting the Asset Declaration Legislation, FOIA 2011 Act, WhistleBlowers Policy, NDIC legislation, Customs and Excise Duties Reforms, Public Finance Act, GIFMIS, IPPIS, IPSAS & TSA and Forfeiture of illegally acquired assets,” he added.
Arabi also said when implementing digital services, the government can meet challenges related to internal risk aversion and user adoption, but these challenges can be easily overcome and quickly replaced by benefits, which includes better online user experience for citizens, increased public participation, improved internal efficiency and productivity.
Others include less burden on IT (when delivered with cloud-based technologies), better collaboration between citizens and government, reduced labor costs and is more innovative.
The Federal Government has called on Chief Executive Officers, Board Chairmen and members of parastatals, agencies and commissions to live to the demand of integrity and patriotism, and be result-oriented in the discharge of their respective duties.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Mr D. I . Arabi, gave this admonition at the opening ceremony of the induction of the 9th Batch of Chief Executive Officers, Chairmen and Members of Governing Boards of Federal Parastatals and Commissions, held in Abuja on Monday.
The agencies involved in Mondays’ event included Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigerian Content Development And Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and National Biotechnology Development Agency (NBTDA).
The BPSR boss said the induction ceremony was coming at a time of “growing concerns expressed about the weak corporate governance practice and the struggle and misunderstanding among board members in some Federal Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions.”
Arabi stated that the federal government would institutionalise the induction programme and other capacity building workshops in order to update the knowledge of the board chairmen and members who are more often than not brought from outside the civil service system.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, commended the contribution of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) to the success of the event and other similar initiatives.
“It may interest you to note that Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) has been visible in Nigeria since 2001 with focus on three major projects: Promoting Democracy and Good Governance; Support to the Security Reform (SSR) in Nigeria; and Promoting Economic Development through partnership with the various levels of Government.
“In the recent past, KAS has partnered with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to organize capacity building for the Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on “Implementing the National Development Plans”; Capacity building for Special Advisors and Technical Assistance of the Honorable Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and the capacity building workshop for Anchors and Secretariat officials for the development of the National Development Plan 2021 – 2025 amongst others.
“Distinguish Ladies and Gentlemen, it is very obvious that the KAS has calved a notch for itself in the Nigerian space for improving democracy and good governance, security, and as well as the economy through seminars, retreats and capacity building programs with very excellent resource persons and facilitators, sharing experiences, knowledge and best practices,” the Minster said.
Konrad is a German political foundation, a nongovernmental organization. It is part of the official German development cooperation and thus is funded by the German Government. It has more than 100 offices worldwide and it has been active in Nigeria for 20 years now. The focus of its work in Nigeria lies in the promotion of democratic governance and the rule of law and security sector reform
The Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), is partnering with Ogun State Government to further deepen the gains of reforms in the public service.
BPSR Director-General, Dasuki I. Arabi, disclosed this when he visited the Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, in Abeokuta recently.
He stated that the delegation was in the State to give necessary support to the government, towards establishing a full-fledged Bureau of Public Service Reforms to improve the public administration.
The DG emphasised that the reforms would bring about core public service institutions in a systemic and sustainable manner for enduring changes in the behaviour of public sector actors in the interest of the people.
Also present at the meeting were, the State Head of Service, Dr. Nafiu Aigoro, the Director of Strategic Communications, Public Service Reforms, Abuja, Mr. Aliyu Umar, the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Public Service Transformation Office, Mr. Jola Oyeneye, as well as his counterpart in the Bureau of Establishments and Training, Mrs. Lydia Fajounbo, among others.
Receiving the BPSR DG, the Ogun SSG, Tokunbo Talabi, informed the delegation of the various reforms already embarked upon by the Prince Dapo Abiodun led-administration to reposition the Public Service.
Talabi said the reforms include, the automation of the process of appointment of Permanent Secretaries, digitisation of registration of the public schools, initiating an online registry for lands under the concept of Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System (OLARMS), establishment of Bureau of Public Procurement, Government Delivery Unit, as well as engendered Housing reforms, among other things.
The State’s scribe expatiate that “the government delivery unit was created to serve as a platform for effective tracking and coordination of priority initiatives and had consistently engaged and collaborated with Ministries Departments and Agencies, as well as stakeholders in ensuring transparency, accountability, resource control, control resolution, quality assurance and due process”.
He said the digitisation of school registration had further curtailed juvenile delinquency and criminal tendencies of students who in the past moved from one school to the other to evade consequences of their actions, just as the housing reforms also removed the bottlenecks for middle class citizens including Public- Servants in owning a decent house.
Acting Head Strategic Communication Department (BPSR)
19th September, 2022.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Muhammad Bello Koko, has said that the various reforms programs introduced by the authority have reduced the waiting time of vessels at the Nigerian ports.
The MD also said the reforms have resulted in the overall reduction of Turn-Around-Time of vessels, reduced ports cost, increased port and cargo traffic as well as facilitated trade.
Koko was speaking at the August 2022 edition of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Lunch Time Reform Seminar, titled ‘The Contribution of the Nigeria Port Authority in Enhancing Economic Growth and Ease of doing Business in Nigeria’ and held in Abuja.
The NPA MD also said regulating ports body contributes on average, about 1.6 percent of Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product, being the major facilitator of trade whose services all other sectors depend on for import and export.
“In the first half of 2022, NPA has generated a revenue of over N172bn from its operations. The authority has in the same period remitted over over N78bn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the federation,” Bello Koko added.
Some of the reforms he outlined include: Electronic Ship Entry Notice (ESEN), Electronic Manifest Download, provision of 24 hours ports operation, night illumination of the port environment and gate access control among others.
Earlier, the BPSR DG, Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, said maritime transportation plays a major role in the national and international trade and economic growth.
He however said enumerated some factors which he said port operators attributed as contributing to the high cost of doing business at the ports to include gridlock on the port access roads, delay in scanning and physical examination, duplicated charges and charges not tied to services, cargo dwell time/ lengthy port procedures, and block stacking of containers.
“Others factors were lack of holding bay and trailer parks; unethical conduct of shipping companies and terminal operators; infrastructure problem; customs procedure and associated delays. The Nigeria Ports Authority in implementing the executive order on ease of doing business is addressing these and other related challenges.
“To enhance economic growth and ease of doing business, the Nigeria Port Authority went through a reform program to promote efficiency through a Private-Public partnership which resulted in the concession of the corporation.
“On this note, some port terminals which were formerly managed and regulated by the Nigerian Port Authority were concessioned to private operations for a period of time,” Arabi explained.
The BPSR boss however commended NPA for the reforms, and said has been consistently making efforts to relieve the importers and ports operators with several incentives.
Aliyu Umar Aliyu
Principal Information Officer (BPSR)
31st August, 2022.