Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has commended the state’s civil servants for their dedication and commitment towards achieving the lofty goals of his administration, saying the state parades the best Civil service in the country.

Governor Fayemi, who stressed the need for civil servants to urgently embrace digitalization of all their activities to enable them move with modern times, called on them to shun partisan politics in order not to jeopardise their effectiveness.

The Governor who stated this on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti during a get-together with senior civil servants revealed that his administration was already working on automating land and property management service and Geographic Information System to allow for electronic management of activities such as electronic issuance of Certificate of Occupancy right from application stage to the stage of issuance.

While calling on civil servants to work with the time and ensure they are digitally compliant, Governor Fayemi commended the Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babafemi for the stability of the Civil service as well as high level of efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.

He commended the civil servants for keeping the government running during the peak of the covid-19 pandemic, stressing that government recorded and delivered more in terms of policy, programmes and projects during pandemic than when there was no Covid.

Sharing his experience during last week’s visit to some offices at the Secretariat Complex, Dr Fayemi urged them to discard the old culture of piling files and documents in offices and work towards the digitization of all their documents.

In addition, the Governor urged the senior civil servants to pay good attention to their health with regular medical check-up. He personally presented medical kits to the senior civil servants which comprised Permanent Secretaries, Executive Secretaries and General Managers.

“I agree with my colleagues who have spoken that we have some of the most qualified and dedicated civil servants in the country and we can be leaders in a variety of fields but we also must meet you half way and enable and support you to be able to achieve a lot more in the area of capacity development and change management.

“Let me stress that point about working smart, our leadership in the civil service and in the public service in general must look at this area and we also must work with you particularly in providing the necessary tools for you to be able to work virtually and work smartly because that is where the service is going. Yes, we would keep building and renovating and providing furniture for office use, but one thing that Covid has done for all of us, we’ve held exco now for two years virtually. And there is a lot more that can be done with digitization of your records.

“I think this is an area we need to pay particular attention and whatever we need to do to support that process, we will do that, but we need to move with the modern times and improve the accessibility of our workers to the information technology world. And I believe Ekiti can be a model in this area if we pay serious attention to it.

“The other point about de-politicization of civil service is something that I believe civil service public rules is very explicit about, it is a question of enforcement on the part of the leadership, but the problem that I see is that it makes an existing government even more of a lame-duck government. And when you start to align with incoming administration, your workload and effectiveness begin to dwindle and if you are working with someone like me who would work till October 15, 2022, you are going to have problems because I am not a lame duck and will refuse to be considered a lame duck governor till my last day in office.

“The last three and a half years have been very busy for our civil service because we’ve kept tolls, we’ve pushed you hard and we’ve demanded a lot from you in terms of the timely delivery of the various initiatives that this government has put in place. And it’s understandable because as I’ve always said to some of you on individual encounter. This is even more compelling in terms of delivery because of what we have witnessed in this term of office.

Earlier, the Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babafemi commended the governor for giving the civil servants and auspicious avenue to rub minds with the governor on strategies for consolidating the gains of the administration in the last three years.

Mrs Babafemi said the forum would further enhance the warm comradeship and unity among the leadership of the civil service, adding that the success of the service flows from and reflects the transformative leadership of the Governor.

Goodwill messages were delivered by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Olawale Fapohunda (SAN); Special Adviser and Director General, Bureau of Land Services, Mrs Funke Falodun and Director General, Office of Transformation and Service Delivery, Prof. Bolaji Aluko.

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