‘Many civil servants haven’t attended training for 15 years’
Written by Henry on February 7, 2018
Majority of civil servants in the country have not been trained, either locally or internationally, by their employers for the past 15 to 20 years, the Director-General, Centre for Management Development, Dr. Kabo Usman, has said.
According to him, the development was discovered during a recent training need assessment programme undertaken by the CMD.
The lack of training, non-adoption of culture of performance management system, non-existence of what he described as “a national training policy” in the country and poor implementation of planned programmes by the government were setbacks to human development in Nigeria.
While challenging handlers of key agencies of government to build a local content agenda if they are interested in repositioning the country to meet up with global competitors, Usman advised the government to look inwards with a view to embarking on training and retraining of staff locally.
He said the development, which will require the engagement of consultants, was capable of generating over one million jobs annually in the country.
“The CMD can support if any staff from any of the Federal Government agencies is going for training. It is a matter for us to know and we can say ‘yes, this course can be done in Nigeria’ and ask that the Head of Service directs that the course be done in Nigeria. And if we do that, we can easily increase employment in Nigeria by at least one million people per year. This is possible,” he emphasised.
Speaking with News men, Usman insisted that Nigeria must begin to embrace the culture of local content in terms of monitoring and evaluation, performance management system and the culture of providing training for its engaged workers.
He stated, “When we conducted a training needs assessment, we discovered that some people, especially civil servants in this country, are not being trained for 15 to 20 years. And when things are not done and we are competing globally, how can we compete globally? We need to think globally and act locally. If you don’t have the capacity for global gesture, how are you going to catch up with the rest of the world? It’s not possible.
“I have looked at this country and discovered that we don’t have a national training policy. If you employ somebody in the public or in the private sector, whether you train that person or you don’t train that person, nobody cares and nobody will call you to action! It is absurd.
“I have been to the United Kingdom, there was never a time that I asked to go on training and it was declined. Never! And sometimes, I go to four different kinds of training in a year, both abroad and locally in the UK and I think it is very important.”
He added, “Why are the Japanese surviving? Because they have a knowledge-based economy. You cannot have a knowledge-based economy, except and unless you are educated. You cannot have education except you have knowledge and skills and the right attitude.
“You cannot have knowledge-based economy except and unless you have got a skills development agenda. If you don’t have the agenda to develop your own skills, then you may as well go and fail.”
Usman said Nigeria should adopt the culture of performance management system in line with global trends.
He stated, “I have attended a lot of seminars and conferences in the United States, the UK, Japan and Singapore. What I have all along seen is that they have adopted a culture of performance management system where targets are set and key performance indicators are defined and reviews are made, reports are written, work plans are done and sanctions and rewards are given.
“If you look at that, you will notice that this is not very much pronounced in our system. So we need to look at that. The second aspect is training needs assessment. For example, the training needs assessment that we conducted for all the 36 states of the country, if you see the level of skill gaps, the skill shortage, skill mismatch, it is disgusting. It is absolutely avoidable in every state.”
“There’s is no skilled manpower where they deployed the use of ICT, project management, result-based monitoring and evaluation framework, concept of zero-based budgeting and performance management system, issues of qualitative leadership and a lot of all other issues related to that. Some of them don’t even have planning cadres.
“So how do you plan? And failing to plan is planning to fail. We know that is where we are failing as a country. Even if we plan, we don’t implement and we don’t have people who have the capacity to implement. That has been a problem.”
He charged Nigeria to immediately embrace the use of Information Communication Technology, if it was interested in having a knowledge-based economy.
“You cannot have a knowledge-based economy if you do not deploy the use of ICT. We can see a typical example in terms of e-governance. We can see the benefits of ICT in terms of the card reader of the Independent National Electoral Commission so we must revisit those issues,” he added.