COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE SIXTH (6TH) TOP MANAGEMENT RETREAT HELD AT THE NEW IMO CONCORDE HOTEL OWERRI, IMO STATE
1. The Sixth (6th) Edition of the Top Management Retreat of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing was held at the New Imo Concorde Hotel, Owerri, Imo State from 22nd to 23rd March, 2019, with the Theme: “Re-Inventing Governance for National Prosperity”.
2. The 2-day event was presided over by the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN. He was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary (Works and Housing) Muhammed Bukar and the Permanent Secretary (Power) Louis O. N. Edozien.
3. Special Guests who attended the Retreat and presented papers were the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, ably represented by Dr. Bakari Wadinga, Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office; Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) ably represented by the Secretary to the Commission, Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar. Other paper presenters were the Chairman/CEO Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), Prof. James A. Momoh; the Ag. Director General, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Ahmed Bolaji Nagode; and the Resident Doctor, Staff Clinic, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Works and Housing Sector), Dr. Eyituoyo Ojo. Participants at the Retreat were Directors, Chief Executives of Parastatals and Agencies as well as Heads of Unit in the Ministry.
4. In his keynote address, the Honourable Minister urged participants to draw inspiration from the short but impactful life of late Professor Pius Adesanmi (who died recently in the Ethiopian Airline Crash) to improve their services to the public. He advised that as privileged citizens entrusted with enormous responsibilities for Power, Works and Housing, staff of the Ministry can do more to impact on the society and the lives of the individuals who benefit from improvement in power, roads and housing.
5. He further pointed out that public servants should be polite to clients and members of the public in the course of providing services and that a simple smile even when saying no goes a long way in building trust and understanding with the public. He stated that this is a culture of service that can and must be cultivated and adopted as our style of governance.
6. While thanking staff and management for their commitment towards successful implementation of Ember months programmes of the Ministry, which sought to improve services during the September – December period, preparatory to the yuletide period and the dry/hot season, the Honourable Minister implored that a similar commitment be applied to implementation of projects and programmes towards successive seasonal changes; especially the coming rainy season with its special challenges to power facilities, road works and housing. Finally, he disclosed that the Ministry received an approval from the Federal Executive Council for the maintenance of public infrastructure which will ensure uniform standard of maintenance for all public buildings and facilities by Federal Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The Public Buildings and Housing Department in the Ministry would coordinate its implementation and help other MDAs prepare and procure their building maintenance works.
7. The papers presented by the Speakers were:
i. Re-inventing Governance for Sustained Prosperous Nation;
ii. Enhancing Capacity Building in the Nigerian Power Sector for National Prosperity;
iii. Re-inventing Governance for National prosperity;
iv. Corruption: The Bane of Good Governance; and
v. Keeping your Spine Healthy.
8. In conclusion, the Retreat resolved as follows:
i. Stressed the need for officers to take ownership of responsibilities assigned to them to positively affect the lives of Nigerians through efficient delivery of services;
ii. Advocated the importance of polite service delivery with a smile in order to earn the trust and acceptance of members of the Public;
iii. Urged participants to always be proactive and plan well ahead on how to deliver efficient services in anticipation of the impact of the rainy season on construction projects and power generation;
iv. Directed the Director, Public Buildings and Housing Department to coordinate all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to implement a uniform standard of building and facilities maintenance under the National Infrastructure Maintenance Programme;
v. Urged stakeholders in the Ministry to collaborate and build a sustainable training culture for each sector’s growth;
vi. Encouraged the Technical Departments in the MDAs to develop a programme to engage interns with a view to giving them practical work experience with stipends paid to them without contravening the provisions of the Public Service Rules;
vii. Noted that sustaining national prosperity was dependent on the entrenchment of transformational governance and favourable sociopolitical and secured environment;
viii. Advocated the review of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) extant licenses and regulations governing the operations of Generating Companies (GENCOs) and Distribution Companies (DISCOs) so as to accommodate new entrants to increase competiveness and performance in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI);
ix. Noted the role of the Civil Service in facilitating national development and democratic stability;
x. Noted the various reform initiatives aimed at strengthening and repositioning the service for efficient service delivery;
xi. Observed the need to strengthen the basic institutions and procedures as part of the key elements that will enable the Service perform optimally and withstand identified challenges militating against it;
xii. Endorsed the use of Performance Management System (PMS) approach in the Public Service to ensure efficient and effective service delivery;
xiii. Supported the merger of Agencies and Parastatals whose functions are duplicated for greater efficiency and productivity;
xiv. Noted the need to restore geo-political slots in appointing Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Public Service in addition to the existing States representation as a means of reducing stagnation in the Civil Service;
xv. Advocated for reform initiatives that will enable civil servants own and take responsibility for policies, programmes and activities in driving effective governance as it relates to productivity and target setting in respect of salary review, promotion, union matters, adherence to the principle of Federal Character;
xvi. Advocated for policies that will mainstream gender issues such as providing a longer and realistic period of maternity leave to promote breast feeding, protection from sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the Public Service;
xvii. Noted that corruption was a hydra-headed monster and a major obstacle to actualizing good governance confronting the Service which requires collective efforts to eliminate corruption in the interest of the generality of the citizenry;
xviii. Appreciated the role of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in curbing corruption and ensuring good governance;
xix. Resolved to strengthen the systems, processes and structures within the Ministry to fight corruption through:
Provision of leadership by example and setting high standards
Strengthening of Anti-Corruption and Transparency Units
Sensitization of staff on anti-corruption and service delivery
Encouraging Whistle Blowing and Code of Ethics
Sustaining compliance with Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines in the discharge of duties and responsibilities
xx. Resolved to continue to liaise with ICPC to conduct Corruption Risk Assessment with the aim of identifying corruption vulnerabilities and mitigating same through integrity planning;
xxi. Urged the ICPC to always furnish the MDAs with names of erring officers
found complicit in corrupt acts for disciplinary action;
xxii. Advocated for the review of the Procurement Act 2007, as amended, to further promote competition, inclusiveness of small businesses and openness in Public Procurement;
xxiii. Advised the ICPC to adopt global best practices in carrying out system studies to eradicate defaults;
xxiv. Noted that pains in the spine are caused by factors such as injury (trauma), inappropriate method of lifting heavy items, obesity, poor sitting posture, inappropriate foot wear, inappropriate or wrong sleeping position, genetic condition and pregnancy in women;
xxv. Noted the need for staff to be in a state of good health in order to be able to perform optimally on their jobs;
xxvi. Advocated for engagement in activities that encourage the spine to be aligned and advised prompt visits to doctors when pain persists;
xxvii. Noted that the occupational groups most commonly affected by spinal pains are civil servants, farmers and petty traders due to long hours of work and inappropriate posture;
xxviii. Noted the need to avoid long periods of sitting by standing and walking for a few minutes after every hour; and
xxix. Appreciated the Honourable Ministers and the Permanent Secretaries for sustaining the quarterly Top Management Retreat which has helped immensely in building team spirit in the Ministry.
ISSUED TODAY, SATURDAY, 23RD MARCH, 2019 AT THE NEW CONCORDE HOTELS, OWERRI, IMO STATE