Communication Ministry wins contest on Public Service Innovation

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy under the leadership of Dr Ibrahim Pantami has won the first, second and third prizes for the Public Service Innovation Challenge Award Competition, which is designed to improve service delivery.

According to News Agencies of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, the winners were grouped as; Sogunro Onyindamola, Iliya Abdulrahman for the first prize; Winsala Oluwaseun, Ebire Francis for the second prize and Zainab Saka, Tolulope Ibitoye for the third prize, were awarded N3 million, N1.7 million and N1 million respectively while consolation prizes were given to other participants.

Speaking during the occasion in Abuja, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, said that organising such competition was in line with the Federal Civil Service Strategic and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP). “The initiative was part of the Federal Government`s eight key priority areas to improve on the service delivery by the public servants”.

She expressed confident that the initiative would enhance the nation`s future service delivery, while appreciating participants for the exhibition of their skills during the competition. “The Federal Civil Service Innovation Challenge can be considered as a watershed event heralding a major milestone in our collective movement toward a more innovative public service that provides quality services”.

She stated that with the quality of presentations and interactions witnessed in the competition, I am in no doubt that the public sector as the largest service provider is not deficient of the capacity to deliver on its mandates. “The countries of the world, including Africa have realised the leverage on innovation for the provision of customers` focus on cost effective services.

She added that innovation in a public sector has become increasing popular around the world as a strategy for improving governance and scaling up service delivery, hence the need for its adoption in Nigeria`s public services. “The competition has equipped the participants with knowledge and presentation skills through innovative interactive tools, such as zoom, slack and Google slide.

She said the tools were deployed globally to address workflow challenges brought by COVID-19 while expressed optimism that Nigerian public servants would be productively utilizing the skills acquired during the exercise for self-development and also able to surmount work challenges.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola expressed delight over the initiative, saying it would go a long way to provide solutions to some key challenges in the sector. “Civil service was an ancient institution that decided what happens in any government in the world. He, therefore, challenged the civil servants across board to ensure improving themselves to meet with the global knowledge to improve the public services.

Earlier in her opening remarks, Dr Magdalene Ajani, Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategic Office, office of the HOCSF, described the initiative as means to gain new ideas to improve upon service delivery. “Innovation was at the heart of the economic growth of any nation”. Adding that the initiative informed the selection of innovation as one of the high impact of the eight priority areas of the 2017 to 2020 (FCSSIP), developed to improve better performance among public servants.

Sogunro Onyindamola, one of the winners who spoke on behalf of other participants expressed gratitude to the federal government for the gesture, saying it would motivate civil servants more in their service delivery.

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