The Lagos State Government has expressed its determination to uphold strong ethical conduct within the Civil Service, stating that transparency, integrity and accountability of public administrators is essential to good governance.
The Special Adviser, Parastatals Monitoring Office, Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo, made this known at a workshop organised for Heads of Admin & Human Resources of Parastatals in Lagos State, held at the State Treasury Office Resource Centre, Assbifi Road, CBD, Alausa, Ikeja,
Ayantayo explained that ethics in public service is one of the fundamental principles of democratic governance as it provides the standards of accountability employed to scrutinise the performance of civil servants.
Speaking on the theme of the workshop, “Reinforcing the Public Service Ethics and Norms in Lagos State”, the Special Adviser stated that while it is a tested principle in governance that a nexus exists between good ethical practices, professionalism and good governance, absence of good ethical practices in any given organisation leads to reduced output.
According to him, the civil service is a public institution potentially saddled with the responsibility of providing equitable service to citizens. Consequently, the importance of articulating the ethical principles and the values that define and underpin a well-constituted, modern civil service cannot be overstated.
He revealed that the onerous responsibility of executing policies and programmes of government towards the socio-economic development of the State also places the role of promoting public trust on civil servants.
The Special Adviser explained that the session is underscored by the need to strengthen the productivity of officers in accordance with the mandate of the Parastatals Monitoring Office and reinforce the pivotal role Agencies of Government play in the delivery of services to the good people of the State.
“This is the 6th in the series of our capacity building workshops for CEOs and other officers in our Parastatals and Agencies in Lagos State for the year 2020. It is our belief that the theme for this workshop would serve as the final piece of the jigsaw that would bind and give meaning to all other workshops we have had before now”, Ayantayo affirmed.
While encouraging participants to leverage on the knowledge the forum will offer and cascade it to other staffers in the various parastatals, he said all Civil Servants must stand up and be counted for contributing to the development of public service in Lagos State.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Parastatals Monitoring Office, Mrs. K. A. Ajenifuja described ethics as professional conduct that governs decisions and behaviours in any organisation, outlining specific guidance for handling issues like safety and conflicts of interest.
According to her, “A code of ethics is broad, giving employees or members a general idea of what types of behaviour and decisions are acceptable and encouraged as a business venture or organisation. A code of conduct is more focused. It defines how employees or members should act in specific situations”.
She affirmed that, over the years, there had been a measure of ethical decadence in the public service, which has created a gap that needs to be bridged to ensure that public servants adhere to the set of ethical behaviours expected of them with the ultimate aim of improving efficient service delivery.
Ajenifuja stated that the objective of the seminar is to encourage Heads of Administration and Human Resources across MDAs to galvanise all employees towards imbibing and adhering to the set of behavioural codes as stipulated by the public service rules.