Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has said that his government is anxious to turn the economy of the state around at the shortest possible time and to satisfy the social and economic needs of the people.
Ajimobi stated this on Thursday while declaring open a two-day retreat organized for commissioners, special advisers, permanent secretaries and heads of non-ministerial departments held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
The governor, however, said that this would require taking a hard look at old established practices, jettisoning those practices that had outlived their usefulness as well as adapting the relevant ones to meet the needs of today.
He noted that at the inception of his administration, he made it clear that the drive for positive change in the lives of the people of the state would be his focus, stressing that this drive could only be accomplished through effective public service delivery to the citizenry.
Ajimobi said: “The general consensus appears to be that the public service operates with an impoverished concept of management which over-emphasizes routine control and neglects other dimensions, such as managing changes and managing relationships within organizations.
“This requires a paradigm shift in the conduct of government business. This explains why our government quickly committed time and money to the re-orientation of the workforce at all levels.”
While disclosing that over 13,000 civil and public servants, including teachers, had so far undergone one relevant training or the other, he acknowledged the fact that there were already noticeable changes in the service delivery in the public service.
Ajimobi thanked the workers in the state for their positive response to his government’s vision, adding: “They have allowed themselves to be trained and to conform to our own call, vision and style, so that we can fulfill our mandate to the people.”
He said that the training and re-orientation efforts had been at all levels and that his administration would sustain the tempo.
According to the governor, the retreat would further strengthen the relationship between political office holders, technocrats and bureaucrats for the actualization of his government’s vision.
The Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Isaac Adewole, in his address, said that the impact of the retreat was based on the relevance of the state to the development of Nigeria, being the intellectual capital of the country.
Adewole, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, said that the retreat would also afford the political office holders the opportunity to operate on the same page with the governor, whom he described as a “political communicator and academic statesman.”
One of the resource persons at the retreat, former Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, urged the participants to re-appraise their long-held assumptions about the process of governance so that the state can move forward.