By Jacinta Nwachukwu
The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has rewarded the winners of its 2021 Innovation Challenge with N9 million for their outstanding performance.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, disclosed this at the award ceremony of the 2021 Innovation Challenge on Friday, in Abuja.
Yemi-Esan explained that the first place winner would be awarded the sum of N5 million while the first and second runner up winners would get N3 million and N1million respectively.
She also said that the sum of N250, 000 would be presented to each of the team of the 10 top performers as consolation prizes.
According to her, the theme of this year’s competition is “Generate Revenue and Reduce Cost of Governance in the Federal Civil Service”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that team Eco-green Africa from the Federal Ministry of Environment was the first place winner of the contest, while team Evolution and team Xceptional took the first and second runner up winners.
NAN also reports that the participants at the Innovation Challenge were selected across all the Federal Ministries Departments and Agencies.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation noted that organising such competition was in line with the Federal Civil Service Strategic and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP).
“This year, a total of 27 teams with minimum of two and maximum of seven members who shared common interests and ideas participated.
“The 27 teams with top innovative ideas made physical presentations of their ideas from where the final winning ideas were selected by a panel of eminent Judges on the following categories:
“Administration and work process; facility management; food security; staff welfare and safety; as well as Technology for effective service delivery.
“Therefore, today’s event is organized to recognize the outstanding ideas/solutions from this 2nd Edition.”
She said that the deliberate choice of the theme of this year’s competition was informed by steps being taken by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to surmount the global economic vulnerabilities fueled by uncertainties and disruptions caused by COVID-19 as it affects Nigeria.
“Hence, during the competition, contestants were required to come up with solutions on reducing waste, cutting cost of governance and enhancing revenue generation for government.
“Realizing that innovation is critical to achieving the desired dream of a world class public service, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation emplaced “Innovation” as a priority reform initiative in the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) 2021-2025.
“And this was approved by the Federal Executive Council two days ago. As part of the activities contained in the Plan and to inspire greater ideas and improve the quality of ideas from our officers,” she added.
She, therefore, said that the Office would continue to host a number of Public Service Innovation Conferences annually.
She said that “holistically, FCSSIP25 sets to create and sustain an enabling environment to promote competitiveness, innovation, a performance based system and meritocracy in the Service.”
“Yemi-Esan further said that in driving the implementation of the Plan, the office would leverage more on technology for a number of activities.
“So as to make better decisions on how public servants are hired, trained and retained, to monitor performance and deliver services in an effective and efficient manner to reduce wastage and sustain trust in government.
“For this reason, we are collaborating with private sector organisations and development partners, and we also encourage more stakeholder collaboration because government alone cannot achieve this.”
She, however, gave assurance that all the solutions emerging from the event would be looked into for effective deployment to address specific challenges that have been identified in the Civil Service with a view to providing cheaper, quality and accessible services to all the people of the country.
While congratulating all the prize winners, Yemi-Esan further stressed that the benefits of innovation to the operation of Nigeria’s public service was undoubtedly very crucial for effective public service management.
She also thanked the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties Office, in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Ibiene Roberts, and her team, for working assiduously to ensure the success of the competition.
“I also wish to assure that, the Office will continue to work vigorously in supporting and reinforcing the structures put in place such as the Innovation Department in the Office of the Head of Service and Innovation Divisions across MDAs.”
Speaking on behalf of the awardees Ms Dorathty Obionwu from Federal Ministry of Environment appreciated the management of the office of the Head of civil service of the Federation and Ministry of Environment for their support to the team during the exercise.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)