Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has spoken of the need to rediscover the role of the civil service as the creative hub of policy making and implementation, saying the country won’t work if the civil service does not work.
The governor who stated this at the opening of the 5th Summit of Heads of Service of South-west states in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, said the country needs a crop of bureaucrats who are highly dedicated in order to achieve policy objectives and keep governance focused on real issues of development.
While stating that the civil service must be de-politicized and run as a meritocracy, Fayemi said the people should not see the public service as “an irrelevant organisation filled with slothful errand boys and girls of politicians” because it is the engine of governance and the fulcrum of policy implementation.
“It is imperative for us to recover the meaning of the civil service as the matrix of policy design and execution. It is the custodian of institutional memory and the engine of governance. By design, it is the technocratic hub of the state. This notion of the public service has been lost for decades and needs to be restored. Public servants regardless of how high or low their station, are the preservers of the common good,” he said.
Fayemi added that the effectiveness of politicians and public servants could only be measured by the increase in people’s level of access to public goods, which he described as a barometer by which the health of the community is ascertained.
While speaking on the benefits of regional integration to the people, the governor noted that a remote central authority cannot provide the public goods to the people not only because it lacks the capacity to do so but also because most of the national developmental objectives fall within the purview of state rather than federal government.
He explained that the current “hybrid unitary-federalism” has condemned the grassroots to permanently anticipate the “charitable largesse of a distant central government” hence the inability of most Nigerians to yet feel the impact of democracy since its return 15 years ago.