Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday swore in Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola as the 21st Head of Service (HOS), with a charge on him to inject fresh ideas, vibrancy and energy that will take the public service to new heights and make Lagos a globally recognised City-State with a commitment to efficiency, effectiveness, innovation and creativity in service delivery.
The governor also swore in six new Permanent Secretaries who have since been deployed to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). They are Dr. Titilayo Goncalves (Ministry of Health); Mr Adeyemi Kosoko (Education District IV); Dr Sherifat Balogun (Ministry of Youth and Social Development); Mr Segun Adeniji (Health Service Commission); Mrs Abosede Adelaja (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture); and Dr Lateef Lawal (Primary Healthcare Board).
Describing the appointments as thoroughly deserving, Governor Ambode said a new chapter had just been opened in the State public service, and particularly urged the appointees to justify the elevation by working harder to satisfy the expectations of the people.
While expressing strong optimism in the ability of Muri-Okunola to effectively take charge on account of his capacity, knowledge, exposure, experience and youthful energy, Governor Ambode said it was important for the new Head of Service to lead by example and encourage accountability and professionalism.
“Following the swearing in of the new Head of Service, a new chapter has just been opened in the history of the Lagos State Public Service. It is a new chapter with high expectations for the injection of new energy and vibrancy that will move our Public Service to new heights.
“As the number one Civil Servant in Lagos State, you must demonstrate leadership and lead by example for others, including the Body of Permanent Secretaries, to follow. You have a responsibility to provide direction and encourage accountability, transparency, professionalism and high sense of discipline. Your actions must be based on sound and objective judgment with consideration for merit and proven record of competence and loyalty.
“I have no doubt in my mind that under your leadership, Lagos State Public Service will achieve great strides and record outstanding achievements as a role model for other public service institutions in Africa,” Governor Ambode charged the HOS.
The Governor, who underscored the strategic important role of the civil service, said the extent to which any government succeeds in the implementation of its policies and programmes largely depends on the quality and orientation of the Civil Service, hence the need for the new leadership to implement necessary measures and initiatives to foster growth and development.
“Our Civil service needs a leadership that will inspire confidence and the will to strive for excellence. We are in a technology age where creative thinking and innovation must be given a pride of place through the growth mindset initiative, the Service Charter and other policies being driven by the Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation.
“I am satisfied with the positive impact these initiatives have made so far to the extent that the Lagos State Public Service is gaining the confidence and trust of the citizens especially taxpayers. It will however take consistent implementation and improvement of these initiatives for us to achieve the ultimate goal of making our Public Service truly service-oriented and responsive to the demands of Lagosians,” Governor Ambode said, just as he assured of his support.
While lauding the former Governor of the State and National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for laying a solid foundation for the transformation of the State civil service, Governor Ambode also commended the immediate past Head of Service, Mrs Folashade Adesoye for serving meritoriously and her work in strengthening the public service.
Responding, Muri-Okunola thanked Governor Ambode for the confidence and trust reposed in him, assuring that the public service, under him, would improve on all well-known traditions for speedy, efficient and effective implementation of government policies and initiatives.
Dignitaries who witnessed the swearing in of the new HOS are Tinubu; Deputy Governor, Idiat Adebule; former Deputy Governor, Femi Pedro; Senator representing Lagos East, Gbenga Ashafa; Senator Musiliu Obanikoro; Majority Leader of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; APC Southwest women leader, Chief Kemi Nelson; Elegushi of Ikate Land, Oba Saheed Elegushi, among others.