• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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SGF, finance minister, others bag BusinessDay Excellence in Public Service Awards

Zainab Ahmed

Top public servants, including Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, and Suleiman Adamu, minister of water resources, were on Thursday recognised and awarded at the third edition of the BusinessDay Excellence in Public Service Award.

The annual BusinessDay Excellence in Public Service Award is used to recognise top public servants who have made their marks in public service. Open to federal ministers, heads of departments and agencies, the award aims to celebrate functionaries occupying strategic positions in the federal administration who, in the performance of their responsibilities, embody the best values of responsible policy formulation and operational delivery excellence.

Also awarded at the grand event which held in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital, were Elias Bogoro, executive secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Mele Kyari, group managing director, NNPC, Aisha Dahir-Umar, director general, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Babatunde Irukera, director-general, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), among others.

Frank Aigbogun, publisher/editor-in-chief, BusinessDay Newspapers, in his welcome remarks urged Nigerian leaders to adopt innovative strategies to properly manage the nation’s resources and enhance rapid development in the country.

Aigbogun, who was represented by Ogho Okiti, managing director, BusinessDay Media, noted that the country was faced with challenges that required stringent resource management skills to tackle. He described public service as a thankless job that requires commitment and dedication, saying rapid national growth can only be achieved when leaders imbibe hard work.

Aigbogun explained that the public service award was informed by the contributions of awardees to nation-building and stability of the country.

“Public service is a thankless job. I mean the ministers, the governors, special advisers, heads of government agencies, what you do every day is what I call thankless job,” Aigbogun said.

He said all public servants do thankless job because 100 percent of what they do is all that is required.
“When you work perfectly for 99 percent and the public does not appreciate you, whether it is an error or a mistake, it does not mean you have not done well,” he said. “So today, we want to recognise the contributions you have been making in public service and for the growth of the country. And this is what it means to be a public servant. You have been carefully selected because of your immense contributions to the development of Nigeria.”

Adamu Baba Yunusa, Ona of Abaji and chairman of FCT council of chiefs, in his remarks said leaders should be recognised for their commitment to duty and performance.

“These awards are for your dedication to duty and because you have worked for it and have earned it. In these trying times of the nation, it is incumbent on leaders to show commitment and dedication to initiate programmes that can bring development,” Yunusa said.

In the face of the shrinking budgetary allocations as well as marching orders to deliver on President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision, the awardees have had to apply innovative strategies and stringent resources management skills to achieve their goals.

Zainab Ahmed was appointed minister of finance, budget and national planning in August 2019, after serving as minister of state for budget and national planning.

As minister of finance, Ahmed is saddled with the responsibility of managing and controlling the national public finance with specific functions of preparing annual estimates of revenue and expenditure for the Federal Government. She also has the responsibilities of formulating fiscal policies, mobilising domestic and external financial resources through both internal and external financial institutions.

Since her appointment, the minister has been instrumental to the reforms in the 2019 Finance Act as well as the return to the January-December budget cycle.

Aisha Dahir-Umar, as acting DG of PenCom, heads the regulatory and supervisory exercise of all pension matters in Nigeria.

Dahir-Umar, who joined the commission in March 2005 as deputy general manager, management service department, rose to general manager of the department and subsequently became general manager, corporate responsibility and services department, before her recent appointment as acting DG of the commission.

Suleiman Adamu, minister of water resources, selflessly served as project manager in several projects, notably under the PTF urban/semi-urban, regional and rural water supply programmes, among others.
Bogoro, executive secretary, TETFund, was recognised and awarded for visionary innovation and for his sound policies and leadership in infrastructure development of public tertiary institutions in Nigeria. His tenure has seen the creation of three specialist centres in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, for instance.

Bogoro served as executive secretary of TETFund from 2014 to 2016 before he was disengaged. He was reinstated in 2019 by President Buhari.

Mele Kolo Kyari, group managing director, NNPC, was awarded for his dedication to duty and effective delivery of all tasks assigned to him. Under his watch, crude oil marketing recorded remarkable transformation in the management and sales of the various gas liquids which led to the optimisation of revenues accruable to the federation and timely recovery of proceeds of sales, among other achievements.