By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
Chairman, Lagos State Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Regina Fabanwo, says the state has its eyes on being as effective as the civil service of Singapore and, therefore, needed its work force to have the right skills and attitude.
In her presentation at a management retreat organised by the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) for senior administrative staff, principals of the five Government Technical Colleges in Lagos State and other school managers at the Golfveiw Hotel, Ikeja, Mrs. Fabanwo said the commission was working hard to restore meritocracy so the state could be more productive.
“We are benchmarking Singaporean Civil Service. When you do the work as it is supposed to be done, you will be recognised. We are trying hard to bring meritocracy to service. We cannot continue with mediocrity,” she said, adding that this informed the recent stringent screening of over 400 candidates to fill 65 permanent secretaries’ slots.
Mrs. Fabanwo charged the managers of the Government Technical Colleges to make their colleges attractive so that students would embrace technical and vocational education and gain skills that are currently being imported to Nigeria.
“If you make your campus attractive, people would want to come. We visited a technical college in Philippines that was so big and had good equipment for technical education. They run courses for masseurs. Their masseurs are rated so highly that they are the ones working in spas in Nigeria,” she said.
Speaking on the topic: “TVET and the THEMES agenda” the second facilitator Mr. Taofeek Ajetumobi, explained the role that technical and vocational education and training should play in Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s agenda for the development of the sate.
Ajetunmobi, the Director Public Affairs at the Lagos State Public Service Staff Development Centre, Magodo, said technical colleges should position themselves to produce skilled technicians that can run their own businesses and not look for jobs.
He said: “Technical colleges are agents of socioeconomic development that provide youths with critical skills that makes them better citizens; that makes them have the mindset of entrepreneurs and not mindset of people who continue to look around for employment. When technical and vocational education is properly deployed, the tendency will be for unemployment to reduce drastically.”
On her part, the Executive Secretary of LASTVEB, Ms. Morounke Azeez, underscored the need for the workers to be up-to-date with changes in TVET so they offer relevant training. She said the aim of the retreat was to ensure the board contributes to the government’s THEMES agenda.
“We felt the there was a need for us to re-strategise and take a critical look at ourselves, how relevant are we in today’s world of work; how relevant are we in terms of the THEMES agenda. We must make ourselves relevant; we must ensure that we are keyed in the government’s agenda and we contribute positively to the developmnet of Lagos,” she said.