Reform and Re-Engineering of Anambra State Civil Service- A Strategic Priority

By Chukwunwike Echezona

Saturday the 9th of April 2022, the newly appointed 20 Commissioners under Governor Soludo took their oaths of Office with the Governor charging them to ‘work HARMONIOUSLY’ with the Civil Servants in their various ministries.

This was a loaded responsibility and a big task he placed on the Commissioners, and goes to show that the Governor himself realises the importance of synergy and harmony between himself and his political appointees on one hand, and the Civil Servants on the other hand, to the achievement of his Mission and Vision, indeed to the performance of his administration and the expectations of the people of Anambra State and Ndigbo

To work harmoniously with the Civil Servants is critical because some of these civil servants have worked with various Commissioners and Governors during their career. Thus, their style and attitude to work,output, contribution to the growth and development of the State have been shaped and influenced by various superiors and colleagues.

In the present administration, Soludo has set a tall order for himself, and the people of the State are full of great expectations. Regardless of whether they (the Civil Servants)liked or hated their previous superiors, the Governors or Commissioners or Colleagues, what Governor Soludo needs in order to achieve his tall order is a Civil Service that is patriotic, loyal,honest, innovative,creative, hard working, efficient and effective, with a burning desire for the resurgence of Ndigbo who understand the value of time, willing to create value, ready to take risks, courageous,share the passion of the Governor and able to identify opportunities and threats and alert the Governor.

These are some of the fundamental traits of Entrepreneurship. Essentially, the Governor needs a Civil Service with entrepreneur orientation. He needs such a Civil Service because these are the people who will FORMULATE and DRIVE his policies, his agenda,priorities and programs, and if they don’t get them right the Governors performance and achievement will be stunted and far short of his goals and targets to the disillusionment and the dissatisfaction of the people of Anambra State.

There’s therefore an Urgent Need, a Strategic Priority to Reform and Reengineer the State’s Civil Service- a process that’s perhaps is uncommon in the Public Sector. Training and retraining of personnel may be an integral component of the Civil Service structure but a deliberate, conscious and specific program of Re-engineering as is done in the private sector is required to get the best out of the State’s Civil Service especially at a time like this when the State needs to escape from a nationally deteriorating culture of Unproductivity, Consumption and Disregard for Merit and Competence.

In 2015 PMB rode to power on the promise to fight corruption to a stand still, a promise that was hailed locally and internationally (by people who didn’t understand him).But by 2022 it is said that corruption is even worse than when he assumed power in 2015.

He had the passion to fight corruption but the very people who were to formulate and drive his Anti-Corruption Policy did not share his passion. It was infact reported that they fought the policy, obviously to a stand still. this goes to show how subordinates could torpedo the good intentions of their principal when one does not have the right people in key positions.

Thus, to Reform,Re-engineer, Retrain and Upgrade the capacity of Anambra State Civil Service will be a tremendous boost to the growth and development of the State and a great legacy from the Soludo Administration. Above all, Anambra State/Ndigbo is a fertile ground for Entrepreneurship talents and there’s no reason why our Civil Service should not be entrepreneur driven-focused, efficient and effective, innovative and creative, knowledge and technology driven. If our¬† Civil Service and our communities¬† have these qualities , in the next ten years we shall be miles ahead of our pursuers, detractors and opponents.

Chukwunwike Echezona, a public affairs commentator, writes from Enugwu-Ukwu.