The Lagos State Executive Council (EXCO) retreat held to brainstorm on government policies, proceedures and programmes
The Lagos State Executive Council (EXCO), the first under the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was held between 28th - 31st October 2015. The purpose of the retreat was to make clear the policy direction of Government to the new Executive Council Members and evolve strategy to serve the citizenry better. it was also a veritable platform for the Executive Council members to brainstorm on government policies, proceedures and programmes. One hundred and Twenty (120) participants which includes the new Commissioners, Special Advisers, body of Permanent Secretaries and heads of Government agencies were present.
Cross section of participants at the retreat
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode in his remarks said that in the next three and half years, his administration will vigorously pursue four key pillars (Economic Development, Infrastructure Development, Social Development and Sustainable Environment) of the Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP), which are his agenda for his government. The retreat gave DFID and the State Level Programmes (SLPs) an opportunity to present their activities and how they support the implementation of LSDP, it was also an opportunity to network and exchange contacts with the new Cabinet members of relevant ministries and schedule of appointments for further engagement.
Governor of Lagos State Akinwunmi Ambode giving remarks at the event
Development partners that were present at the event are World Bank, DFID and State Programme Managers of DFID Programmes (SPARC, PATHS 2, SAVI, ESSPIN, DEEPEN, GEMS 3, GEMS 4, J4A, ENABLE, Bridge International Academies). The Private Sector led by Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) and Price Water house Coopers (PWC) were also present.
Group photograph of DFID, SLPs programmes representative and some LASG officials with the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode
Several papers were presented by leading experts on Leadership, service delivery and stress management to broaden the knowledge of ExCo members and prepare them for their new assignment.
Working Dinner on Governance Reforms and Sustainability held with some Lagos State Government officials
The State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capability (SPARC) programme in Lagos organised a working dinner on governance reforms and importance of reforms sustainability on the 16th of October 2015. Present at the dinner were the immediate past Head of Service Mrs Folashade Jaji who formally retired from active service on the 26th October 2015, Mrs. Toluwalope Olabowale Ademola who has now been appointed as the new Head of Service, and some Permanent Secretaries including the retired Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget Mr Adebayo Shodade. The event was also an opportunity to appreciate Mrs Jaji for her contribution to the building a virile and effective public service structure for Lagos State Government through the implemenatataion of key reform initiatives. Mr Adebayo Shodade was alo appreciated for his commitment to Public Fianncial Management reforms.
Some noteworthy testimonials were pronounced by some key officials on the Technical Assistance the State has received from SPARC in support of its reforms on governance and the possible sustainability of the output as revealed below:
"If not for SPARC, there would be no transition from Finance and Admin (F&A), to Admin and Human Resources (A&HR); it was SPARC that came up with this innovation and encouraged me to act on it. For me, I would say that the DFID-SPARC Programme deserves appreciation for its endeavours in all the reforms in the State" - Mrs Folashade Jaji (immediate past) HoS
The immediate past Head of Service Mrs Folashade Jaji making remarks at the event
"It was with the intervention of SPARC that we now have the Lagos State Public Procurement Law under which the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (LASPPA) was established. SPARC has come a long way in initiating the reforms in the Agency. The most recent initiative of SPARC is the Training of Trainers on the use of Standard Bidding Documents for Procurement Officers. for this and many others, I am personally grateful and say thank you to SPARC on behalf of the PPA and the State Governemnt, for its support" - Mr Akin Onimole General Manager (GM) - Lagos State LASPPA.
"The shape of Planning and Budgeting in the State which has made LASG a role model to other States in Nigeria, is due to the support of SPARC. My technical skill has improved as a result of several interventions by SPARC. I now facilitate meetings and workshops on planning and budgeting" - Mr Adebayo Shodade - former PS MEPB
The former PS MEPB Mr Adebayo Shodade making remarks at the event
"Even when it looked like the State lacked the will to reform, SPARC kept pushing. LASG wouldn't have achieved all the reforms achieved in the State without the support from SPARC" - PS, Public Service Office
Cross section of LASG officials at the event
In a key note address delivered by the State Programme Manager SPARC Lagos, Mr. Ifeanyi Peters Ugwuoke, he laid emphasis on the importance of reforms sustainability while leaving a legacy: he urged participants to build institutions -stating that "People move but institutions remain". The retiring HoS has laid a foundation for a virile proactive problem solving Civil Service that requires her successor to build upon and surpass. He challenged PSs to reflect more on the following questions, what will you be remembered for when you are gone from that position? Have you taken any decision that transformed the way you met the organisation you managed? Are you one of those that choose not to rock the boat; that leave things the way they are even if it is not achieving the desired results? He concluded by urging them, To Leave a POSITIVE Legacy!.
Lagos SPARC Programme Manager Ifeanyi Peters Ugwuoke addressing participants at the event, sitting on his immediate right is the new Head of Service Mrs. Toluwalope Olabowale Ademola
Collaboration extraordinaire: Niger State government officials trained on the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI)
The Federal teams of SAVI and SPARC in partnership with their state teams organized a 2 day sensitization workshop for high level government officials on the 13th and 14th of August at SAFTEC Hotel Minna, Niger State.
With the passage of the FOI law at the federal level and 4 out of 5 court rulings upholding the law as applicable in states, SAVI deemed it necessary to sensitize both the Civil society (requesters of information) as well as government officials (suppliers of information) in states.
The sensitization workshop was therefore aimed at enhancing the understanding of both groups on the content, usage and applicability of the FOI law so that both can effectively discharge their obligations under the law.
The event was well attended with high level officials; including Permanent Secretaries and directors drawn from the Budget office, ministries of Health, Education, Justice, Finance and procurement MDAs, as well as representatives of civil society.