The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has sworn-in the new Head of Service (HOS), Anthony Okungbowa Esq., urging him to contribute his quota to ongoing reforms in the state’s civil service.
The governor, who swore-in the HOS at Government House, Benin City, noted that as the state battles coronavirus (COVID-19), the civil service is needed more than ever to action government’s policy directives.
According to him, “If we ever imagined that the public service was not important in our lives, COVID-19 has shown that without the instrument of state to mobilise and harness the talents and skills of the workforce to direct public behaviour and reaction, no society can thrive.
“It can be seen in every aspect of our lives, including the healthcare system, which is struggling to cope with the pandemic. If we had not realised how critical and important the need to change and reposition the public service was before now, the lesson of this pandemic has revealed it.
“The reform of the civil service is non-negotiable and it is the engine room for public service delivery. You are coming at a time when we have taken steps and actions in reforming our public service. We started by improving the physical environment where our civil servants work and the governance system within the service. We have now put in place the contributory pension scheme to make things even better.”
Obaseki said the state government will continue to build capacity and train the state workforce to respond to the needs of the times, adding, “You can’t expect people to deliver when they are not trained. With the completion of the John Odegie Oyegun Public Academy, Edo State has moved to an era where our civil servants would be trained to carry out their duties based on the information and knowledge given to them to work.”
He expressed confidence that Anthony Okungbowa Esq., will bring his experience to bear in transforming the civil service, noting, “I have no doubt that you have the capacity, training, preparation to cope with the challenges ahead of you. You are required to chart a new course of leadership that is based on fundamental values.
“Your selflessness, hard work, dedication, honesty, fairness and diligence stood you out for this job. As the youngest Head of Service appointed in the state, a lot is expected from you in terms of providing leadership for the state and the nation. You represent a new generation.”
In his response, Okungbowa praised the governor for his leadership style and reforms which have made Edo State the envy of other states, especially with the contributory pension scheme.