By Brenda Agba
The Executive Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has warned civil servants to desist from truancy and uphold their duties for effective service delivery to the state.
The Governor gave the warning during a meeting with Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as other Units of the State Civil Service , which held at the State Secretariat Complex in Makurdi.
According to a statement made available by Principal Special Assistant to the Governor on Media & Publicity/Strategic Communications, Bridget Ikyado, the Governor urged various Heads of Departments to ensure staff adhere to diligence, hard work, accountability, transparency, confidentiality discipline and team work.
“Accountability has to be built in your heart. The confidentiality we used to have in the service needs to be returned. As we take charge of our life style, so should the job be”, he added.
He also urged the Heads of Departments to ensure they lead by example. “If you show at work late, close when you want or you are absent, how do you want your subordinates to act differently?”, he queried.
He further called for drastic change in attitude towards work for best results to be achieved.
“I am here to serve you and the state; you have accepted the Job to also serve the state in various capacities, I call for a uniform style of work to justify the prompt payment of salaries.
“We need to revive, revamp and reform the civil service and we have to change the narratives.
“We must recalibrate to avoid embarrassing scenes and situations, this administration will not tolerate laziness and truancy”, he stated.
Gov Alia emphasized on the need for every civil servant to dress properly to work as it shows how one values the job.
“Let us bring back aura, respect and value again in to the civil service”, he appealed.
The governor stated some reforms to be established in the civil service to include: The automation of the entire civil service, which would register one’s presence or absence, adding that staff productivity would be enhanced this way.
He also said the reforms would ensure that people due for promotions were promoted as and when due.
Gov Alia also warned that overheads were not to be personalised but used to solve internal needs of the office.
He also announced that it would take retirees a maximum of 120 days to get their entitlements even as he urged Heads of Departments to have weekly meetings with staff to know their staff strength and their weaknesses in order to find ways of improving on them.
The Governor added that affordable homes would be made available, disclosing that the State Micro Finance Bank was also revived to encourage small businesses for workers, especially for agricultural purposes and horticulture.
“I encourage you all to have farms, but farming around office premises must stop by November”, he said.
The governor called for the rehabilitation and furnishing of the State Civil Service Secretariat by the Ministry of Works as he said facilities, especially restoration of light, water and other amenties were gradually being fixed.
He however thanked all Heads of Departments for working and attaining their present positions, saying “more is expected of you”.
In his reaction, the Deputy Governor of the State, Barr Sam Ode, stressed the need for training and retraining of staff for optimal service delivery which he assured would commence soon.
“Gone are the days when civil service was grounded with offices locked up, non pyament of salaries, work days were reduced to two days as the workers had three days for farming”.
Earlier, the State Head of Service, Moses Ogbogbo Ode thanked the governor and his executive members for finding time to have a first hand meeting with the staff.
He pledged the civil service support to the growth and enhancement of the state.