By Catherine Philip Jelani
The Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) supports how Governments organize their core business of making, implementing, tracking and accounting for policies , plans and budgets used in delivering public goods (economic stability and an enabling environment for private enterprise to promote growth and reduce poverty) and services to the citizenry, and how citizens themselves engage with these processes.
PERL is a governance programme, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Nigeria. PERL brings together governments and citizens groups to collectively address governance challenges for improved delivery of pro-poor public goods and services.
PERL works in seven places which include the federal/national level, focal states of Kano, Kaduna, and Jigawa, and through regional learning and reform hubs in the South-West and South-East.
PERL also works in the North East, where the focus is on strengthening the coordination of recovery efforts in Yobe and Borno States. It combines highly innovative programme architecture, recognises the challenging political economy of Nigeria, and the need for a flexible, adaptive, and locally-led approach.
The programme is being delivered through three ‘pillars’ which plan and act together to support sustainable service delivery reform. These pillars include;
· Government Pillar Accountable, Responsive and Capable Government (ARC) work to strengthen government systems to reduce opportunities for corruption and to make them respond better to public demand.
· People Pillar Engaged Citizens (ECP) works to ensure that citizens become increasingly more effective at influencing governance reform and delivery.
· Learning Pillar Learning, Evidencing and Advocacy Partnership (LEAP) works to strengthen the demand for and use of evidence in public sector reform.
L-R Deputy Perm. Sect. MoI Ibrahim Buba, Director Citizens Rights MoJ, Director Legal Drafting MoJ Staff Officer CSC and Others at AUN Hotel Meeting with PERL-ARC.
It is however in this regards that on the 25th of September, 2018, PERL -ARC experts met with Heads of key MDAs at AUN Hotel here at the State Capital in order to discuss and understand how the system of Government is being run in the state with the aim of intervening where the case might be. These key MDAs include; Ministries of Justice, Education & Higher Education, Information & Strategy, Planning Commission, Establishment and Training Office of the Head of Civil Service, Office of the SSG, etc.
Perm. Sect. of Political Affairs, Musa Ahmad Gaude & Perm.Sect State Planning Commission, Mahmud Abubakar at Corinthian Hotel Abuja meeting with PERL -ARC.
Similarly, on 9th to 10th of October 2018, PERL ARC organized and trained Government sector on Health, Education and Water at Corinthian Hotel, Abuja on Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS). The selected States for the training are Borno, Adamawa and Yobe which they referred to as BAY States. Again, some key Heads of MDAs were invited they are;
1. Mahmud Abubakar, Permanent Secretary of State Planning
2. Musa Ahmad Gaude, Permanent Secretary of Political Affairs.
3. Halima Isa Ahmadu, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education.
4. Micheal Chinda, Dir. Planning, Research & Statistics Ministry of Education.
5. Salihu Iliyasu, Dir. AM & NF Education.
6. Abdul Mustafa, Deputy Director Planning, Research & Statistics SUBEB.
7. Zulaihatu Bello, Focal Person, Planning Commission.
However, the State Planning Commission is to support the State Education Sector Planning Team strengthens the capacity of the Education Sector.
In another development, PERL ARC has recently invited the same key MDAs to Kigali Rwanda for training on Medium Term Implementation Strategies of Vision 2020 and more in the first week of November, 2018.
The Learning Visit is aimed at exposing officials of the States of the North East ( Borno, Yobe and Adamawa) and Federal Government of Nigeria to approaches used in the reconstruction and strengthening of Public Institutions in Rwanda during the Post-Conflict era . The tour will afford Nigerian Government Officials opportunity to interrogate lessons by Rwandan Government Officials as to expand their Networks beyond the borders of Nigeria. It is expected that the learning from the visit will be applied in strengthening relevant Institutions, Ministries Department and Agencies to facilitate restoration of service delivery to conflict-affected communities.
Similarly, the visit is in line with the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan that was approved in July 2017, by the Federal Executive Council to reform the Civil Service in Nigeria. Earlier this year, a study tour was embarked upon to Singapore and Malaysia by the Federal Government’s top officials in that regard.
Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation led the delegation to Rwanda. Winifred Oyo-Ita in an interview said that the trip was necessary because the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari was able to restore normalcy to a very large part of the Northeast that was affected by Boko Haram especially in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
She emphasized that the actual administrative set up in these States still faces a lot of challenges adding that a lot of Civil Servants ran away from their jobs thereby making the Civil Service structure weak.
“And, we realize that no matter what, it is the administration that gives beef to whatever Government is doing. It is the Public Service, the Civil Service in particular that is the engine room of governance and implementation of Government Policy and Programmes. So, if the Civil Service is not strengthened then, there will be a lot of gabs.”
Mrs. Ita also said that It is however in this regards that Rwanda was chosen for the assignment, because it is the only African Country that has successfully rebuilt its service system and it’s currently referred to as a center of excellence for Public Service.
States that attended the visit includes; delegates from Borno, Yobe Adamawa. ASCON, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, NTA, Channels TV, News Agency of Nigeria NAN,
Delegates from Nigeria visit tomb of victims of communal clashes In Kigali
Barr. Murtala Bele of MoJ of Adamawa State