A partnership programme between the Lagos State Public Service Staff Development Centre, PSSDC, Magodo and the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, has enrolled another batch of local government staff for a two-year diploma programme in Local Government Administration and Development Studies.
Speaking at the weekend during the orientation programme for the participants who cut across the various local councils in the State, the Director-General of PSSDC, Dr. Senukon Olufunmi Ajose-Harrison explained that the partnership with LASU was developed to help break career stagnation among interested junior staff at the local government level.
He explained that the diploma certificate that would be presented to the students at the end of the two-year course will allow the affected officers to reach Grade Level 14 in the civil service instead of remaining on grade level 7 as the peak of their career.
The Director-General underscored the importance of local government in the delivery of dividends of democracy at the grassroots, saying that administrators at the local government level must be able to effectively implement policies and strategies that would further sustain the dividends of democracy.
While highlighting the importance of the course, Ajose-Harrison said, “The capacity building programme will also align the participants with the work culture and strategic institutional objectives of the State in tandem with the greater Lagos policy direction of the present administration encapsulated in the acronym T-H-E-M-E-S.
“The course will equip participants with organisational and operational problem-solving skills in local government administration to enable them to evolve alternative solutions, with a view to producing practical administrators”, he said.
Also addressing participants during the orientation programme, the Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, said that the coming together of PSSDC and LASU was aimed at delivering the best any university can offer in the world in terms of morals and academics.
He urged the students to be good ambassadors of the University and that of PSSDC by cultivating the right attitude to work.
“Let people know that you are a changed fellow the moment you leave this hall today. Let them know you are ambassadors, they should not find you among those who will be involved in shoddy deals. Be consistent and be bold to make decisions,” Fagbohun counselled.
Delivering a lecture at the event, the Chairman, Lagos State Local Government Service Commission, Alhaji Babatunde Rotinwa, in his paper, said that implementation of the policy direction of the present administration in the State requires a crop of officers who have the requisite knowledge, skills and attitude to deliver on citizen/customer expectations.
According to him, the pace and speed at which the Lagos State Government is moving, therefore, needs to be matched by greater capacity in the State to sustain or even increase it, hence the need to continuously hone the capacity of its workforce.
According to him, “Considering the dynamic nature of governance itself, the institution of government needs a well-trained, intellectually sound and technologically equipped workforce to be able to deliver the dividends of democracy at competitive cost”.
“In this connection, the knowledge and skills of staff at the State and local government levels need to be updated while they need to be exposed to best practices in management to prepare them not only to cope with the demands of today’s environment but to also face the unpredictable future”, he said.
While describing the training programme as very beneficial to the participants and the State as a whole, Rotinwa added that the programme will not only rectify past oversights and unprofessional conduct in the public service but will also ensure that all professionals are well prepared for managerial positions in the future.