The John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA), a training establishment invented by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, has built the capacity of 2,500 public service workers since March 2023.
Precious Ajoonu, director general of the public service academy, disclosed to BusinessDay that the beneficiaries were trained on data analysis and interpretation, strategic communications, negotiation, conflict management, among other foundational courses.
Ajoonu, who noted that the academy targets to train 10,000 workers in 2023, equally said centralising and running training programmes in the state capital have paved way for over 70 percent cost savings for the government as travel costs have significantly reduced, allowing for better monitoring and evaluation of all training interventions.
The director general explained that the training was initiated to ensure that civil and public servants possess both technical and soft skills needed to thrive in the world of work as well as to deliver high-value services to citizens and accelerate the Obaseki-led administration’s reforms.
She added that in view of the changing global economy, technology, politics, and increased expectations for government performance, there is need for new attention to the complex set of public skills and capacity.
According to her, “The importance of training and development in public services is even more urgent, given the growing complexity of the work environment, the rapid change in organizations, and technological advancements among other key drivers.
“Since training started in March, the John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) has focused on foundational courses such as the fundamentals of project management, introduction to public policy development, commercial acumen, professional etiquette, customer service, data analysis and interpretation, strategic communications, negotiation, and conflict management.
“Public officials are experiencing intense pressures emanating from increasing global integration, economic, political, social, and cultural. New technology, new ways of organising work, new means of delivering services, and an increasing reliance on temporary employment have redefined the nature of public service.
“Meeting all these challenges requires a unique combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities. JOOPSA aims to strengthen the public service institution through capacity building, high-quality research, and leading the thought leadership debates that result in good governance,” Ajoonu added.