Govt reforms have touched every facet of public life, says Sambo
DESPITE criticisms in some quarters, the public service reforms put in place by the present administration has touched every aspect of the nation’s public life, Vice—President Namadi Sambo has said.
The Vice-President reiterated the position in Abuja while addressing a one day retreat on a national strategy for public service reforms for the country.
Sambo said: ‘’Our Pension Funds has grown from a deficit of N43 billion in 2014 to N4 trillion in 2014, our public procurement reforms have saved Nigerians in excess of N500 billion, our National Health Insurance Scheme now covers 98 percent of Federal Government employees, our treasury single account system has turned a government overdraft of N102 billion in 2011 to a credit of N86 billion in 2013 and our revenue collection has gone up from N455 billion in 2002 to N4.8 trillion in 2013’’.
Represented by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi, Sambo explained that the reforms in the banking system has seen the capital adequacy ratio of Nigeria’s bank improve from 4 percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2013.
He said: ‘’Our cashless policy has seen the growth in the value of payments using bankcards grow astronomically from N38 million in 2012 to N24 billion in 2014’’.
According to him, it is now necessary to put in place a long-term strategy that will continue to coordinate Nigeria’s development efforts in a reasoned, coherent and strategic way to ensure that the lofty ideas are maintained and built upon.
Earlier in his welcome address, Kifasi explained that in order to ensure the validity of all the initiatives directed all Permanent Secretaries to make detailed inputs into the revised National Strategy for Public Service Reforms and the compendium of reforms from 1999 to 2014 so as to ensure that the final products are understood, owned and implemented by the service.
‘’However, upon my personal review of the draft National Strategy for Public service Reforms, i came to the view that there was a need to debate a number of topical issues, including some of those that i had highlighted in my inaugural address as head of service”.
In his contributions, the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, organizers of the programme in conjunction with DFID and the World Bank, Dr. Joe Abah said that the retreat was put together to allow stakeholders work together to sustain and improve on the ongoing transformation agenda in service delivery.
Abah said:’’There are a number of issues of budgeting, systems, late passage of budgeting, public procurement Act, service delivery, wage disparity, all of these and others. So, we thought we should come together to agree on better ways forward, as we speak, we have seen all the key actors playing out here, there could be challenges here and there, but am confident that at the end of this retreat, we would have gotten better ideas of how to do things better’’.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, Deaconess Joan Ayo used the occasion to remind civil servants to remain apolitical while in service warning that any civil servant that wants to participate in politics should resign first or be shown the way out because it is one of the core mandate of the service to be politically neutral while still in service.