by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
All Civil Servants in Plateau State have been told to work towards ensuring that they are fully trained in the use of ICT tools for all government businesses.
The Plateau State governor, Simon Lalomg, disclosed this during the swearing-in of President of Customary Court of Appeals, Justice Lyop Dalyop, and 11 newly-appointed Permanent Secretaries, at Government House, Little Rayfield, in Jos.
He urge the President of the Customary Court to uphold the virtues of integrity, impartiality, fairness and justice, which are the hallmarks of the Judiciary, and must work to remove all obstacles that inhibit the attainment of these ideals – whether they relate to corruption, inefficiency, lack of training, poor infrastructure or others.
The governor assured Justice Lyop Dalyop that government’s arm will give her the necessary support she needs to make a difference during her tenure as President of the Customary Court, and reminded the new Permanent Secretaries to bear in mind that as accounting officers, they are the drivers of the vision and policies of government in their various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“This explains why you have been carefully chosen after the rigorous process of selection. With your injection into the system, it is expected that governance will be boosted with decisions that have direct bearing on the lives of the citizens,” Lalong said.
He elaborated that, government is expecting the new Permanent Secretaries to show leadership that is driven by excellence, capacity, discipline, fairness and honesty. By coming into these sensitive positions at these challenging times, he said they are required to demonstrate innovation, creativity and resource management in the governance architecture of the State.
But the governor warned that, “Time for laxity, bureaucratic bottlenecks and sabotage are over. The positions you hold are very important to the success of this administration, and a lot is expected of you.
“Because the Rescue Administration is gradually winding down, there is a lot to be done between now and next year. This is the time for action and performance, as we are determined to complete on-going projects and programmes, in line with our promise to ‘leave Plateau better than we met it.’”
He further reminded them that, they have been considered for this rare privilege because of their diligent and consistent service to the State over the years, and must, therefore, not see this new status as a licence for self-aggrandizement, mismanagement, and promotion of ideals that are alien to the Civil Service.
The governor urged them to operate within the culture, values and laid down rules of the service. Anything outside the accepted norms will not be accepted, he said, and recalled that at the swearing-in of the present Head of Civil Service and 14 Permanent Secretaries on the 29th March, 2021, he had directed that, henceforth, appointments to the position of Permanent Secretary shall be based on professional aptitude tests and examinations that are ICT-based.
The governor reiterated that, “Having followed through with this directive in the process of your appointments, we shall ensure that the new approach cascades down to other levels, as we leverage on governance through e-platforms, which improve efficiency, productivity and value.”
He added that, “Since Plateau State joined the Open Government Initiative (OGP), we have continued to receive local and international accolades for our prudent, transparent and all-inclusive approach to governance, and we must sustain this development using technology, motivated and well-trained manpower.”
He again reminded civil servants of the need to be loyal to government and avoid all acts that are inimical to the smooth running of the affairs of the State, saying, the civil service rules are very clear on responsibilities, privileges and expectations from all civil servants.
“Because we are in a political period, you should endeavour to conduct yourselves within the norms of the service and avoid being used by politicians to disrupt the smooth-running of government business. Government will not spare those, who run contrary to the rules,” the governor stated.