Following manpower and capacity development reforms in the Lagos State Public Service, a significant number of Public Servants have undergone training in varied courses since the beginning of year 2021.
This affirmation was made by the Honourable Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, during a strategic meeting with management staff of the Ministry on Wednesday, just as she informed that the number of those trained cut across grade levels, cadres and gender.
Noting that different platforms were adopted for the initiative, including online and physical training, she revealed that about 28,000 public servants have benefitted from online courses while 2,500 have had physical training with the figure excluding those involved in the microlearning webinar series.
Ponnle declared that the figure was unprecedented and marked a watershed in the training administration in Lagos State, maintaining that it represented a dramatic shift from the previous arrangement where only 3000 public servants are trained in four years.
The Commissioner asserted that the introduction of the Learning Management System, which has a variety of 4,000 free learning content, self-enrollment courses and 8,000 courses from the LinkedIn Learning Library, has brought remarkable changes in the training climate in Lagos, pointing out that the intention was to drive radical change that would address capacity deficit in the public sector, enhance efficiency and engender competence among civil servants.
“One significant aspect of this programme is that it has made it possible to practically phase out low training quota in the State’s civil service which used to be 3,000 staff in four years prior to this administration. For us, it is really a game-changer, and I think the beauty of the process is also that we are able to mandate public servants to do certain courses”, she said.
Mrs. Ponnle averred that the figure could be higher because some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) compel their staff to undergo certain courses making reference to the Ministry of Science and Technology which, since the middle of the year, had mandated 25 courses for their technical and non-technical staff.
Whilst maintaining that training programmes transcend the entire spectrum and hierarchy of the State public service, she disclosed that some of those who have not benefitted from previous training have been nominated already, noting that the selection process was objective even as the courses are always oversubscribed.
The Commissioner hinted that the State Government would be changing the style of training to workshop/experiential learning sessions in the next phase of programmes. The objective of that change, according to her, is to ensure that the participants really understand the key objectives of the training and are able to practicalise it immediately in their various establishments.
In her words: “The workshop-style approach is basically to ensure that trainees are able to apply concepts learned at the workshop in their MDAs. For example, at a recent workshop on writing job descriptions, the programme participants had to go back to their MDAs and develop Job Descriptions for the core jobs there”.
Recall that the Ministry also introduced several other impactful programmes during the Sanwo-Olu administration, including EXCO Shares, Executive Coaching, Conell/LASU partnership initiative and SHIFT, amongst others.