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FG gets EU's N4.6bn for civil service reforms

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government's reform programme in the civil service has received a boost from the European Union with the provision of N4.6bn for policy development in the public sector.

Specifically, the amount is for the coordination of the programme reform process, policy development and civil service administration reform in Nigeria.

The Supervising Minister of National Planning Amb Bashir Yuguda made this known during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding and inauguration of the project steering committee for the EU Support to Federal Governance Reform Programme in Nigeria.

A statement from the ministry on Wednesday said Yuguda identified the beneficiary agencies as the Office of Head of Service of the Federation, the Bureau of Public Service Reform, National Planning Commission, National Bureau of Statistics and the Federal Inland Revenue service.

Yuguda, in the statement also noted that efforts would be made to ensure that the project is implemented as planned as well as 'achieves the desired objectives and results.'

This, he said, will go a long way to assist Nigeria in achieving its developmental goals articulated in the Nigeria's Vision 20: 2020 and the transformation agenda.

He recalled that the Federal Government commenced the implementation of the National Strategy for Public Service Reform in 2008, after it recognized that the weakness of the public service had negatively affected its ability to deliver social services and achieve the objectives of its long-term policy framework.

He explained that, the government's 2010 Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Report noted that the marginal gains recorded by the public service reforms were not sufficient to carry the service to the next level, despite the successes recorded in the implementation of this strategy in the past three years

Yuguda further said weak technical competences of key specialized agencies had made planning and forecasting less reliable and effective.

He further noted that 'the existing Medium-Term Sector Strategy is still weak, in spite of government's efforts at improving the strategy in the past two years.'

For instance, he said annual budgets are neither prepared on the basis of this strategy nor linked to government's Medium Term Economic Framework.

This, according to him had made it difficult to monitor budget performance in line with its policy framework and priorities.

The minister, therefore, stated that, it was on the basis of these challenges that the EU under the 10th Nigeria-EU Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme would be providing support to the Federal Governance Reform Programme to support the implementation of the second phase of the NSPSR planned for 2012-2016. Punch