Ag. Director General, BPSR, Mr. Ibrahim Arabi has officially presented the outcome of the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) deployed at the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) earlier conducted from 16th July- 29TH August, 2018 across the six geo-political zones of the country. The presentation was recently done at the NASC Headquarter in Sheda, Abuja.
Arabi said that the essence of the SAT exercise was to enable NASC understand its strengths and weaknesses in other to create continuous improvement in the Council which will able it respond to current government’s priorities. He added that the exercise will help identify the needs that should be addressed through specific actions. He also said that consolidated reports were generated in each of the six zones where the assessment was deployed.
In terms of governance structure, Mr. Arabi revealed that the assessment shows that policy issues in the Council are professionally handled and adequately resolved within the shortest possible time. The outcome also shows that Board Members know their bounds and strictly adhered to its obligations. Accordingly to him, the assessment clearly shows that the procurement processes in the Council are transparent enough with established adequate systems and procedures consciously observed by capable and experienced personnel. This also reflected in the financial applications as exemplified in the e-payment option and IPPIS for tracking staff salaries and other entitlements. He added.
Speaking further, Ag DG BPSR hinted that the SAT outcome however shows some key areas of weaknesses which are that the Council’s strategic objectives are not prioritised for potential impact; that the Council is yet to develop strategic plan with high level outputs aligned to approve budget to guide implementation of operations and services; that the Council still uses old system of inventory of assets and functional mechanism for annual planning and budgeting for assets maintenance and replacement.
The assessment further shows that the Council has no contingency plans or Enterprise Risk Management policy for the organization to mitigate risks associated with changes in organizational incomes and funding streams and that there is no appropriate insurance established by the Council to protect the organization, its assets, people and services.
Going forward, the Bureau made the following recommendations among others: that the Council should develop formal code of conduct that set out clearly the standards expected from those who serve on the Board and staff of the Council; and that it should embrace the concept of value-for-money audit and integrate it into the organization.
Director General, NASC Prof. Olusegun Phillips Ojo expressed gratitude to Mr. Arabi and staff of the Bureau for the fruitful synergy the Seeds Council is enjoying in spite of the short relationship that has existed between BPSR and NASC. He described it as a meaningful partnership which is already yielding results.
Having met expectations in all essential areas of responsibilities and the quality of work generally good, the Ag DG BPSR presented a Silver Level Award to the Director General NASC, Dr. Philip Olusegun Ojo.
Mr. Ojo in his response thanked DFID-PERL for its support which has enabled the Council to record such level of success on the programme, as he also solicited more assistance from PERL with the aim of attaining greater heights in implementing the NASC mandate. He reiterated that the entire staff of NASC is committed to the recommendations from BPSR.