Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has called for partnership between the political and bureaucratic leadership in the South-West Zone in order to overcome the challenges confronting a zone desperately in need of development.
He gave the charge while declaring open the Sixth Summit of the Heads of Service of the South-West Zone held at the Western Hall, Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan on Tuesday.
The governor also charged the Heads of Service of the zone to fashion out a road-map and other tactical requirements for the holistic development of the civil service of the zone.
“We are all aware of the enormous challenges confronting us as a society desperately in need of development. Infrastructure is crying for attention, both in terms of inadequacy of supply, as well as sustenance. Thus, in this situation, the partnership of the political and bureaucratic leadership is needed to overcome this challenge,’’ he said.
Governor Ajimobi said that the forum should provide a platform that would offer opportunity for cross-pollination of ideas, adding “this will not only engender the feeling of brotherhood among the states of the South West but will go on to foster a healthy competition that would further, through peer group review and assessment mechanisms, advance the course of development of our country’’.
He said that his administration, since its assumption of duty in May 2011, had taken it upon itself to impact good governance on the state through a tripod of restoration, transformation and repositioning.
“In doing this, a good governance culture is being brought to the fore wherein common grounds on policies of the state involving the two sides, the politicians and bureaucrats, are being reached,’’ he said.
The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to upholding the professionalism of the bureaucrats through a process of training and re-training, pointing out that several overseas and local trainings had been organized for civil servants across board, like no other government had done in the past.
“As a government, we are committed to entrenching an eminently respectable and responsible civil-service, one which will be a hallmark of excellence in professionalism,’’ he said.
Governor Ajimobi, while reiterating the role of the bureaucracy in national development, described the civil service as one that serves, not only as apparatus but also as the machinery through which governance is made possible in a modern society.
He gave kudos to the top echelon of the civil service of the state, as well as all public servants, for their support, loyalty and dedication.
The support, he said, had led to the modest achievements which his administration had recorded across the strata of society.
“In education, we boast of raising the ante of performance of our students in WAEC national examinations. The same can be said of infrastructural provisions, particularly road construction, as well as in the area of the environment,’’ the governor said.
In his welcome address, the Head of Service of Oyo State, Alhaji Tajudeen Aremu said that the regional summit was aimed at laying a solid foundation for the necessary integration of “old family members separated for administrative convenience’’.
He also said that the forum would provide a platform where ideas and best practices would be exchanged for the overall development of all the states in the zone.
Alhaji Aremu said that the regional integration currently being pursued for the zone would be better achieved through the entrenchment of professionalization of the civil service.