The outgoing Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, HOS, Danladi Kifasi, has called for more attention to the provision of welfare support for civil servants.
Mr. Kifasi made the call while presenting his handover notes to the acting HOS, Winifred Oyo-Ita, on Thursday in Abuja.
According to Mr. Kifasi, the desire to motivate civil servants for higher productivity has always been constrained by lean budgetary allocation.
He said it had become imperative to adjust expenditure to meet critical needs, sustain operations and ensure effective service delivery to the public.
Mr. Kifasi maintained that he had kept faith with the oath of allegiance he took on assumption of office 13 months ago, serving the country dutifully and faithfully.
He stressed that with the cooperation of permanent secretaries, he achieved a lot within the period he was in office.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity given him to serve.
Mr. Kifasi promised continued support for the Buhari administration as he retires, adding that he would always remain proud of the country’s civil servants, whom he said, played a significant role in stabilising the polity.
“I am sincerely proud of you all for your sense of duty, patriotism and professionalism,” he said.
Mr. Kifasi, who joined the civil service in 1990 as Assistant Director Accounts, said he was confronted with lots of challenges which made him a better leader.
He said in spite of the challenges, he remained focused on achieving results and imbibed the spirit of perseverance and hard work as critical virtues.
He said his civil service career was rewarding as it was a training platform that prepared him to handle diverse life challenges.
He said his office worked with the National Planning Commission, the Federal Civil Service Commission and the Bureau of Public Service Reforms to develop a new, robust performance management system.
Mr. Kifasi further added that under his leadership, government concluded plans to reduce arbitrariness in recruitment and ensure prudence in the use of personnel budget.
He congratulated Ms. Oyo-Ita for her appointment and apologised to those he might have offended in the course of duty, saying “it was borne out of the desire to deliver”.
“It was not intended to hurt anyone, but to unlock your full potentials for timely and quality service delivery.
“I apologise, if I have offended any of you in my words or actions,” he said.
He charged public servants to cooperate with his successor to enable her to succeed in the task ahead.
In her remarks, Ms. Oyo-Ita thanked Mr. Buhari for giving her the opportunity to serve as HOS and commended Mr. Kifasi for his insight and service to the nation.
She stressed the need for civil servants to be innovative and to reposition themselves to deliver timely and quality services to meet the desire of the people.
Ms. Oyo-Ita said for the country to remain relevant, its workforce had to key into government and global agenda, especially the new set of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
She called for the support of all civil servants, particularly Permanent Secretaries, to implement government policies and agenda with excellence and in the interest of Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ms. Oyo-Ita is Nigeria’s 12th HOS and the third female to be appointed to the position.
Ms. Oyo-Ita, a 1984 Accounting graduate of the University of Lagos, holds a Master’s degree from the Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN.
Until her appointment, she was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, and had also served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs.
She hails from Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State.