ABUJA (National Planning Commission Report) – The reform process of the Nigeria public service has received a boost with the European Union committing 20 million Euros (N4.46 Billion) towards coordinating the programmes reform process, policy development and civil service administration reform in Nigeria.
The Supervising Minister of National Planning, Bashir Yuguda made this known recently during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the inauguration of the Project Steering Committee for the EU Support to the Federal Governance Reform Programme (SUFEGOR) in Nigeria.
The Minister identified the beneficiary agencies as the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Bureau of Public Service Reform and the National Planning Commission as well as National Bureau of Statistics and the Federal Inland Revenue service.
Bashir Yuguda also noted that efforts would be made to ensure that the project is implemented as planned and that it achieves the desired objectives and results which will enable Nigeria to achieve the developmental goals articulated in the Vision 20:2020 and the Transformation Agenda of President Jonathan.
The Planning Minister further recalled that the Nigerian Government commenced the implementation of the National Strategy for Public Service Reform (NSPSR) in 2008 after recognising that the weakness of the public service has negatively impacted on its ability to deliver social services and achieve its long-term policy framework in the Vision 20-2020.
He explained from Government’s 2010 Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Report that the marginal gains recorded by the Public Service Reforms are not sufficient to carry the service to the next level from the first National Implementation Programme of the NV20:2020, despite the notable successes recorded in the implementation of this strategy in the past 3 years.
He mentioned other factors which make policy planning and forecasting less reliable and effective such as weak technical competences of key specialised agencies responsible for statistical development and policy planning, namely the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the National Planning Commission (NPC).
“The existing Medium-Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) is still weak, in spite of Government’s efforts at improving the strategy in the past 2 years. Also, the annual budgets are neither prepared on the basis of this strategy nor linked to Government’s Medium Term Economic Framework (MTEF). This creates difficulty in monitoring policy and budget performance in line with its policy framework and priorities,” he said.
The Minister inferred on the basis of the aforementioned challenges that the EU under the 10th EDF Nigeria-EU Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme (CSP/NIP) is providing support to the Federal Governance Reform Programme (SUFEGOR) to enhance the implementation of the second phase of the NSPSR planned for 2012-2016.
Yuguda disclosed that SUFEGOR will support the aspects of the core challenges that concern coordination of the reform process, policy development and civil service administration reform, particularly in promoting Government effectiveness, control of corruption and service delivery.
“The SUFEGOR project will be implemented through a Technical Assistance Contract and the contractor will be providing technical assistance to the 5 benefiting agencies for the management and implementation of the project, including policy advisory services as well as the transfer of knowledge and skills and building of the technical capacities of personnel in the beneficiary agencies through mentoring, coaching and training,” he noted.
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