By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
After 35 years in Lagos Civil Service, the State Head of Service, HOS, Folasade Adesoye formally bowed out on Thursday, raising alarm over high rate of mental health challenges among the over 100, 000 staffs.
Sharing her 14 months experience in the office, which afforded her opportunity to oversee the service, Adesoye, added that the ongoing civil service reform must include the new challenge because it could affect staff productivity for Lagos development.
Addressing thousands of well wishers that thronged the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium to bid her farewell at her Valedictory and Pull-out ceremony, she stressed that the challenge should be treated as matter of urgency by the government.
“I wish to note the increasing incidence of mental health challenges within the public service and necessity to address the issue as a matter of urgency. I wish encourage a health sector stakeholders’ forum to facilitate a holistic discussion of issues affecting the sector in general with a view to developing a new road map.
“It is also important that the momentum of ongoing reforms of public service processes and procedures be sustained and aggressively cascaded to the Unified Local Government Service in order to maximize its benefits,” she added.
Adesoye also lamented paucity of funds, urging the State Government to ensure adequate funding and effective staffing of the State’s Office of City Resilience considering its critical role in Lagos State’s long term environmental sustainability.
She urged civil servants to brace up for the challenges of the future public service, saying that one did not need a crystal ball to know that in the foreseeable future, the public service would be innovative and technology-driven.
“It would be one in which skills, knowledge, creativity, talent, competence and performance would be the primary determinant of relevance, promotion and advancement.
“Therefore, regardless of institutionalized staff motivation and/or performance reward system, I encourage you to find time to develop yourselves. Seek knowledge relentlessly, pursue education at all cost and be resilient in spirit, be optimistic about the future and invest completely and absolute trust in God,” she counseled.
The HOS also implored civil servants to remain committed to the well tested values, ethos and traditions of honesty, probity, transparency, integrity, hard work and service excellence that had characterized the Lagos State Public Service.
Adesoye charged public servants to be mindful of the responsibility they had, individually and collectively, towards maintaining the leadership position of the public service, urging them to treat one another with respect, love and compassion, while working as a team at all times.