The Federal Government has said the ongoing reforms in the transport and other sectors of the economy are yielding positive results, especially in the rail sector where over one million litres of fuel are being transported on a daily basis just as 200 communities have been connected by rail.
This was disclosed yesterday in Abuja by the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr. Joe Abah, during the inauguration of the 24-man steering committee on Public Service Reforms by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim.
According to Abah, “the reforms in critical sectors like power, agriculture, ports, transports, pensions, electoral system, judiciary, rule of law among others, were already yielding visible results.
“The trains are back for the first time in 30 years, 30,000 passengers have been moved in two months, over 200 communities are now connected by rail, while one million litres of fuel are now being moved daily by rail.”
He added that the reforms had resulted in airports being refurbished for the first time in decades, NAFDAC laboratories accredited to the highest international standards, stability of electricity in the country approaching realisation, fertiliser fraud drastically reduced and improvement of more than 1,664 kilometres of key roads.
The Secretary of the newly constituted Committee also listed the mandate of the committee to include providing technical leadership for reform at the level of planning, design and implementation; and initiate action on reform at the different fronts, monitor and evaluate implementation of the reforms for impact and effectiveness.
He said they were also expected to generate feedback information to guide periodic review; interact/dialogue with donor agencies/stakeholders and inform the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on reform implementation efforts on a regular basis, and brief the National Council on Reform quarterly.”
Anyim while inaugurating the committee, said the absence of the Steering Committee on Reforms had limited government’s capacity to provide coordinated technical leadership and effective monitoring and evaluation of all public service reforms efforts.
According to him, this was why President Goodluck Jonathan deemed it fit to reconstitute the committee to give the reform of public services “the impetus that it needs”.
He said: “President Jonathan has underscored the importance of public service to his administration’s transformation agenda, especially as it is often through the public service that a government can directly touch the lives of its citizens. The proper role of the state must be to improve the lives of citizens by delivering, or ensuring the delivery of efficient and affordable services to all.
“The electoral system is now more credible, trains are running again for the first time in decades, the power sector has finally been unbundled after various previous attempts, the banking industry has become more professional and we are witnessing massive infrastructural development across the country.
” In terms of its direct impact on the lives of citizens, these reforms are perhaps unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. They go to the root of the problems that have slowed our development. There is now a need to ensure that these efforts are properly coordinated and communicated so that citizens can continue to derive the maximum benefits of the transformation agenda,” he added.
The SGF insisted that lessons must be learnt from what has worked well, as well as what has not worked and ensure that reforms are wider and deeper.
“The work of this committee is strategic, important and serious. It will require the dedicated efforts of all concerned and I expect that wherever possible, all members will attend all meetings in persons,” he said.
The Committee is made up of the SGF as Chairman, while members include Head of the civil service of the Federation, Economic Adviser to the President, Chairman, the Federal Civil Service Commission, Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, and Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.
Others are Chairman, Police Service Commission, Chairman, Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Board, Permanent Secretary, General Service (OSGF); Permanent Secretary, Finance; Permanent Secretary, State House, Permanent Secretary, FCSC and Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office (OHCSF).
Also in the Committee are Permanent Secretary Interior; Permanent Secretary Justice; Permanent Secretary Information; Clerk, National Assembly, Chief Registrar, Supreme Court and Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Others are Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation, Director-General, National Pension Commission, Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Chairman, Public Service Negotiation Council and Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms as Secretary.