Lagos holds Webinar Series to Enhance Learning in the Public Sector


Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle has said that the online training sessions (webinar series) recently launched by the State Government, currently in its third cycle, has further affirmed the disposition of the Government to capacity development and a growth mindset for its workforce.

Speaking during the third webinar series held on Tuesday, the Commissioner stated that the whole essence of the programme, tagged “The Resilient Leader” (We are all Leaders), was to expand the horizons of all public servants and make them approach issues from a very informed point of view.

Mrs. Ponnle added that despite the fact that the “growth mindset” has become a cliché within the State’s Public Service, the impactful presentations from the various Resource Persons at the training sessions further expose the participants to the expectations and pre-requisites of a true growth mindset staff.

In her words, “For a fact, growth mindset is not new among the Lagos workforce in Alausa, it has even become our reality and our new normal as it is what we need to create the Greater Lagos of our dreams as espoused by the Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu administration.”

She informed participants that “The Series 1.0, facilitated by Mrs. Bunmi Kuku and Mrs. Lola Esan, Partners in Ernst & Young; and Dr. Joe Abbah (Country Director DAI, former Head, Bureau of Public Sector Reform) was targeted at Cabinet members, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Agencies and looked at Resilience from the point of view of the Government”.

“Series 2.0, facilitated by Mr. Joseph Olofinsola (Partner, Deloitte), Mrs. Bunmi Fabamwo (Chairman, Civil Service Commission) and moderated by Mrs. Titi Akisanya (Vice President, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management), targeted the entire public service and discussed why Lagos State workforce needs to be a Resilient Workforce post-COVID-19 shut down. Whilst the current Series 3.0 looked at behaviours, competencies and the need of public servants as leaders in their own right to overcome the current global crisis”, the Commissioner said.

Speaking on the peculiarity of the Series 3.0 of the webinar training, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Establishments and Training, Mr. Biodun Bamgboye, said that the training cuts across all public officers in the State regardless of their Grade Levels and designations.

The development, according to him, will engender uniformity of thoughts and purpose between the highly placed individuals in the public service and the very junior staff, such that having been exposed to the same training, individuals would be able to identify with areas that address their specific needs.

Bamgboye maintained that the online training shows that the present administration is positively disposed to change as well as the application of new trends in governance to meet the needs of the populace.

While acknowledging the steady increase in the number of participants for the online training sessions from its maiden edition with 73 participants and 721 for the second edition, Bamgboye stated that more persons were encouraged to join the current session of the online training in view of its immense benefits.

In his words, “Webinar series 1.0 witnessed 117 registered with 73 participants while Webinar 2.0 had 1, 809 registered persons and 721 participants. The Webinar Series 3.0 had 1580 persons registered, and 914 participants which are the highest number of participants so far”.

One of the resource persons, Akin Oparison, advocated a different perspective to leadership, noting that contrary to the priority given to hierarchical order in the public service, emphasis should be placed on job performance, efficacy and mentorship capability.

He pointed out how a resilient leader realises his own realities through Primary and Secondary emotions like fear, anger, allure, apprehension, anxiety, affection and lust, stressing that leadership is “what you do and not the position you occupy in the hierarchy”.

Oparison advised would-be leaders to focus on developing others and not feel threatened by the skills and qualities of people around them, underscoring the need for individuals to build a robust network of solution providers through deliberate collaborative efforts with individuals who have the necessary expertise as situation demands.

Another facilitator, Usen Udoh, opined that the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic further underscores the reality of the need to learn, unlearn and relearn. To him, a resilient leader must be communicative, relatable, have uncanny ability to develop people, must be a risk-taker, decisive with an open mindset and a builder of teams, not enemies.

“To make work easier, a leader must recognise the fact that every task is a challenge and must be solved through collaboration. This period could be best described as a new normal situation. However, employers will question their operating models as well as the cost of operations which of course will bring about a drastic change in the corporate environment”, Udoh averred.

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