Day after their inauguration, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, resumed work on Tuesday, rededicating themselves to serving Lagosians as they launched into their second term.
Their first duty call was a joint visit to the State secretariat in Alausa, where they were received by an ecstatic crowd of government workers. The Governor and his deputy had unrestricted interactions with staff across cadres in the State’s workforce with the aim to elevate their morale and incorporate them into the new policy implementation framework.
Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, and Body of Permanent Secretaries led the way, as the Governor and his deputy toured key ministries relevant to implementation of the administration’s development agenda.
The ministries are currently being administered by Permanent Secretaries and senior civil servants, pending the constitution of the State Executive Council by the Governor in the coming weeks.
Sanwo-Olu’s first port of call was the Civil Service Commission, which is statutorily responsible for resource mobilisation and management in the State’s civil service. During his interaction with the management staff, the Governor said the Commission was an important office that must continue to run because of its strategic importance to the implementation of his Government’s policies and vision.
Engaging management staff of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Sanwo-Olu said economic planning was one of the “strong tools” used to measure how well the State Government had been performing and delivering on its development agenda.
He said: “After the inauguration ceremony, it behoves on us to go back to work immediately to show Lagosians that we are ready for the job they have mandated us to do on their behalf. We resumed work today (Tuesday) and we have gone round several ministries in the civil service led by the Head of Service and the body of Permanent Secretaries.
“This objective is to encourage the staff, have an on-the-spot assessment of the working environment and have conversation around how to ensure every staff is on board as we hit the ground running again. We are happy to have resumed work and we are excited that the entire public service is ready to continue to serve the people.”
Sanwo-Olu also had a tour of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, and Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, which are relevant offices that will be responsible for the implementation of additional development pillars in the Government’s “THEMES Plus”programme.
The Governor, during his inauguration address on Monday, announced Social Inclusion, Youth and Gender Equality as additional priorities in his governing agenda.
Sanwo-Olu said the new priorities would deepen his administration’s resolve to leave no one behind in key activities of the State. He added that the additional pillars were deliberately not subjugated under existing programmes because of the need to have definitive strategic planning for each of them.
He said: “As we now have additional pillars in our governing agenda, we have to fully integrate the staff into the new policy direction and see how well we have to drive these new pillars. It is not out of place that we visited the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget and other strategic ministries, because it fits into our game plan for the next four years.”
The Governor expressed satisfaction on what he described as “articulate feedback” from the civil servants, just as he was elated about a conducive work environment in most of the offices visited.
On what civil servants should expect in his second term, the Governor said: “It is additional reforms and citizen-driven policies that will touch the lives of the people. They should know where they need to work with us on each of those policies. They must ensure that each time members of the public walk into the secretariat for services, they leave in assurance that we have served them in the best way.”
After the secretariat tour, Sanwo-Olu and his deputy went into a closed door meeting with the Head of Service and Permanent Secretaries.