Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said an effective and professional bureaucracy is a bedrock for national development and that if policies fail, the bureaucracy is responsible.
Prof. Osinbajo made this known during a lecture he delivered titled ‘Strategic Leadership – The Essential Skills’ at the Leadership Enhancement and Development Programme (LEAD-P) organised by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation in Abuja on Thursday.
“Very often, we hear people say that Nigeria’s problem is not plans and policies, but rather that of a lack of implementation.
“The subtext of such comments is simple: the bureaucracy is the key; if it works, everything works; if it fails, plans and policies are hardly worth the paper they are written on; the bureaucracy literarily holds the future of the nation in its hands.”
The vice president advised the civil servants to facilitate the operations of the private sector and non-governmental organisations by providing an enabling and growing environment.
“A highly capable and professional bureaucracy is essential for successful development. Given the roles and responsibilities of the civil service, namely, to design and implement policy, regulate economic activity, and provide public goods, including infrastructure and social services.”
Prof. Osinbajo added that a country’s general development lies in the capacity, professionalism and integrity of a its civil service.
“The role of government agencies as licensors, regulators, and revenue generators only makes sense when operators understand that the bigger picture is to provide the most auspicious environment for the private and non-government sectors to operate.
“Everything that happens in the public service has an impact on the lives, livelihoods and the future of our country.”
He argued that “great economies and great nations, prosperity and abundance of nations and communities are created by men and not spirits.”
Furthermore, prof. Osinbajo cited countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Brazil, China and India as states with professional and well-developed civil service.