Determined to sustain the tempo of good governance in the State and effectively communicate its T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda to the Public, Lagos State Government has organised a compulsory monthly training Seminar for its over 400 Public Affairs Officers.
The January edition of the Seminar themed: “Understanding Strategy” was held at the Combo Hall of the Lagos Television, Lateef Jakande Way, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.
In his address, the newly sworn-in and in-coming Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Sina Thorpe, stated that the training was aimed at keeping Public Affairs Officers abreast of new trends in strategic management and dissemination of government information in order to meet the 21st-century demands for efficient public service delivery and good governance
Thorpe noted that an efficient public service is crucial to achieving good governance, saying strategic communication is key.
He submitted that there was the need to empower the Public Affairs Officers with modern-day communication strategic thinking to guide them in effectively communicating government programmes and policies, using the most appropriate and accessible channels.
The Permanent Secretary averred that the mark of professionalism should reflect in the tasks assigned to Public Affairs Officers in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, adding that officers would be appraised according to their performance in line with the set goals of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
While urging the officers to justify the huge investment in capacity building and career development, Thorpe urged compliance with the civil service rules and regulations as well as government directives on policy formulation.
He disclosed that the monthly Professional Development Seminars for Public Affairs Officers will explore various strategies to achieve the vision and set goals of government.
The Guest Lecturer, Dr Biodun Adedipe stated that the hallmark of achieving quality public service delivery is to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound in line with the vision of taking democratic dividends to the doorstep of the common man.
He reiterated the need for Public Affairs Officers to develop communication strategies that would make them communicate government programmes and policies to the public in the most acceptable way using the simplest language understood by the generality of the public.
In his lecture, “Understanding Strategy”, Dr Adedipe enlightened Public Affairs Officers on the need to focus on strategies that would enhance free flow of communication between the State Government and the public, adding that using appropriate communication strategy would help them to gain a competitive advantage in the acceptance of government policies.
Adedipe also emphasised the importance of long term strategic planning in making organisations and governments stay ahead of the competition.
Present at the seminar were Directors in the Ministry of Information and Strategy as well as Public Affairs Officers across Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the State Government.