The partnership between the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) and the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) has heralded the development and handing over of twenty-six (26) documented Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) manuals to the OHCSF and the Federal Civil Service by the Africa Initiative for Governance for all processes carried out in the Office. The SOPs are globally recognised as manuals that apply step-by-step instructions compiled by an organisation to assist its personnel to perform their operational tasks accurately and effectively.
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While speaking at the handing over ceremony which took place on Tuesday, in Abuja, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation disclosed that the main objective of SOPs is to develop an effective system that complies with industry-specific regulations and standards to significantly reduce or avoid operational errors as well as unwanted work variations.
According to Dr Yemi Esan, the adoption of SOPs will ensure efficient, effective, and productive civil service, adding that for a dynamic civil service to be achieved, it was pertinent to have laid down standards of operation. She commended the departmental champions for their commitment and assiduous input that made the actualization of the SOPs a reality.
Speaking at the event, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, who is the Chairman of the Africa Initiative for Governance, said, “The real issue is how fast we are able to get the entire Nigerian Government and not just the civil service to document its operating procedures in this way, and then going further to obtain ISO 9001:2015 certification, and finally digitalising all civil service functions and operations”
Aig-Imoukhuede further explained that the new process will enable users of government service to interact with the service through official websites instead of the current inefficient paper-based method.
The OHCSF now has Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for every single process or workflow carried out by all its 26 departments. Each business process has been risk-assessed and proper control mechanisms have been put in place to ensure full compliance with international best practices. The selected MDAs on the initial pilot phase are, Federal Civil Service Commission, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, State House, and Ministry of Transportation.
Elsewhere, Ibiene Roberts, the Permanent Secretary Special Duties Office (SDO), earlier in her welcome remarks, said the SOP manual contains a standardised process and detailed instructions that will help the staff of the Head of Service to perform tasks safely and develop an effective business system.
In the same way, Dr Emmauel Meribole, the Permanent Secretary, Service Policy and Strategies Office (SPSO), in the office of the Head of Service, in his goodwill message, affirmed that the actualisation of the SOPs is a welcome development, whose essence is to ensure uniformity. He urged all Civil Servants to make effective use of the launched SOPs for the good of the Service and as a yardstick for measuring standards in the Civil Service.