The Federal Government said it would deploy 232 specially trained Special Planning Officers to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as part of measures to fast-track the implementation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 9-point national development agenda.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, said this on Friday at the closing ceremony of Training Programme for Conversation to Planning Officer cadre for some categories of civil servants, held at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN), Kubwa, Abuja.
Ten of the outstanding graduands received a laptop each at the event which was organized by her office in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER).
She said that apart from the need to holistically implement President Buhari’s developmental agenda, government was also working towards bridging the capacity gap in planning officers’ cadre across the civil service.
“You will agree with me that the officers today, alone will not be sufficient in closing the capacity gaps in the Planning Officer Cadre service-wide. We will continue to identify and train more officers until sufficient hands are available to revamp the Planning Officer Cadre,” Yemi-Esan said.
She also said that about 2,000 officers applied for conversion training, out of which 675 were shortlisted, but only 232 were successful and ready for deployment.
While urging the trained civil servants to efficiently deploy the skills they acquired from the training, she vowed to probe the allegations that about 25 people absconded from the training.
“We are informed that the 25 officers who did not go through the training claimed to have challenges logging into the online training platform. This matter will be further looked into with the intention of possibly arranging a remedial programme for the affected officers,” she said.
She urged the newly inducted officers to leverage on the nine-point agenda of President Buhari to enable them discharge their duties effectively.
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office (CMO), OHCSF, Dr. Marcus Ogunbiyi, said that the entire service is looking up to the planning officers for the development and implementation of planning activities in the service, adding that planning is important in every organization.
He said that there is high demand for planning officers and that the office is working on the next batch of applications for the planning officers.
The Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), Dr. Turkur Bello Ingawa urged the graduands to be disciplined in discharging their duties.
He also asked for more waivers from the OHCSF to enable the commission employ more officers into the Federal Civil Service.
The Director-General, NISER, Dr. Folarin Gbadebo Smith said the introduction of the planning officers’ cadre into the service is a great innovation that will set the country on the right track in the future.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu, called for professionalization of the planning cadre as obtained in legal and other cadres in the service for effective discharge of its mandates.