Edo Public Service Academy Improving Capacity of Public Servants
By Agbongiasede Gloria Uhunoma and Obamwonyi Violet
A secret to achieving an efficient workforce is having the best hands in place which come from well-grounded preparation and training, especially in a conducive and creative environment that would inspire them to give their best in achieving the desired results.
The Edo State Government, armed with the knowledge that a result-oriented public service can only begin with building the capacity of its personnel, established the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA), to consolidate on the ongoing reforms in public service in the State, as promised during his campaign for a second term in office.
Institutional Reform which is one of the six thematic pillars of the Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) agenda of the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration, aims to transform public service in the State by tackling diverse inadequacies of public servants in terms of skills and work capacity, for optimum service delivery.
The John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy was officially launched on April 4th, 2022. JOOPSA, which comprises a three-storey building among other structures within its vicinity, has a one-thousand-capacity training hall, and also features two halls which can host a hundred and eighteen (118) persons each, and seven mini training halls that can host 58 persons each.
It also has a library space, a sick bay, a cafeteria and 12 offices. Equipped with modern facilities, the public service academy has been designed to meet all learning needs of public servants.
A discussion session with the Managing Director of the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy, Ms. Precious Imuwahen Ajoonu, revealed the idea behind the initiative of having an indigenous public service academy in the State and the various strategies the State Government is employing to make it the foremost up-skilling academy across the country.
Ms. Ajoonu noted that the Public Service Academy is still in the process of operationalization, as management is currently working with the Development Alternatives International (DAI) Nigeria, in fashioning a strategic roadmap for the academy.
Ajoonu noted that pre-assessment exercises are being conducted to ascertain competency gaps. According to her, “The Academy makes use of a unique methodology. Typically, before any training intervention, a pre-assessment exercise is carried out in conjunction with the office of the Head of Service to ascertain the competency gaps per personnel and the training becomes evidence-based.
Also, the post-assessment exercise is undertaken to properly monitor and evaluate the impact of this training on the work disposition and performance of the civil and public servants and invariably the quality of service delivery across all MDAs in the State”.
The Academy which was launched in April, 2022, hosted training sessions on the Performance Management System, with a focus on the Balance Score Card. The training was conducted in collaboration with the first indigenous consulting company, MacTay Consulting firm, to train Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Head of Agencies.
Other trainings which have been carried out at the academy include; training on effective audit and reporting system for LGAs’ Account Officers, training of Permanent Secretaries on the Edo-Gov, an e-governance platform for sharing of information and intelligence across MDAs, and offline training for selected beneficiaries of Edo Skill-Up app, amongst others.
The Public Service Academy is a cost-effective project, as it brings to your doorstep the training and seminars you would otherwise travel far to get. It is also a template that will ensure public servants have the right skillset to drive change in the post-pandemic world.
By this bold step, Governor Obaseki has introduced a result-driven governance approach to public service in the State which would ensure effective and efficient service delivery in the country in line with global trends.