Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has pledged his commitment to vigorously pursue programmes that would guarantee and protect the rights of women in the State.
Ambode, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, made the pledge yesterday at the commemoration of this year’s Public Service Day in Lagos.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘The Role of Public Service in Women Empowerment, Innovation and Access to Service Delivery’.
He said that the day brought to mind the collective desire to empower women and help them realise their potential, irrespective of status, religion and backgrounds.
According to him, with the right programmes and policies in place, women and girls in the state can be more productive and empowered for better life.
Ambode urged public servants to imbibe and develop new approaches that would enhance better service delivery.
“This day was initiated to appreciate the contributions of public servants to the socio-economic development of the state.
“It provides us the opportunity of assessing, reflecting and reviewing the progress we have made so far, as well as our efforts to re-engineer the public service of Lagos State to meet the aspirations of Lagosians.
“Dear public servants, the time has come to rise to the occasion by developing new approaches that will enhance better service delivery.
“On our part, we will continue to encourage and reward diligence and resourcefulness.
“We will be committed to deliver on our campaign promises and ensure a better life for our citizens and the entire workforce. We, however, count on your continued support and cooperation,” he said.
In her lecture, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, described the Public service as the ‘brain’ of governance which executes the vision and policies of government to drive development in all the sectors.
Ezekwesili said that the decadence in the public service and the lack of good governance contributed to the challenges and uncertainties faced in the country.
According to her, the public service has become a transactional and money making environment devoid of servants with character, competence and capacity to transform the country positively.
“If the public service is not transaction oriented, it will be interested in all issues that concern development, such as women empowerment, poverty reduction and improving the general quality of life of the citizens.
“I urge government at all levels to initiate sound and evidence-based policies as well as train and retrain the human capital to renew the knowledge of public servants to make them innovators.
“The quality of our public servants will determine the rate of development as well as solving the problems of our nation.
“Vision without action is day dreaming. The government sets the vision and it requires an organised system of public service to put that vision into action to build good governance, thereby build a developed nation,” she said.
In her address, Mrs Shade Jaji, Head of Service, Lagos State, said that the State Public Service had continued to recognise and respect the contributions of women in the State.
“The present administration has been consistently focused to building a public service devoid of discrimination, such that every public servant, irrespective of gender, religion or cadre, would be given the equal opportunity.
“I wish to restate the allegiance of public servants across the state to the present administration. We assure of our preparedness to cooperate in achieving its vision to revamping the public service for enhanced performance and the attainment of greater heights.”