The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has honoured 27 exemplary serving and retired staff at its inaugural Rewards and Recognition System (R&RS) Awards Ceremony.
The ceremony, which was held on Monday at the prestigious Fraser Suites in Abuja, saw awards handed out in seven categories, which included Honourable Minister Unique Act Award, Permanent Secretary Exemplary Conduct Award, Heroic Award and Long Service Merit Award. Others are Recognition of Long-Service and Retired Civil Servants, Ethics and Professionalism Award and Mentorship Award.
Speaking at the ceremony, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, explained that the R&RS Programme is a deliberate effort at motivating and incentivizing civil servants to put in their best. He noted that employees have other intrinsic needs other than those that are monetary.
“The intrinsic need for recognition, encouragement and reward of outstanding performance forms the other pillar on which the rewards policy stands. We need to appreciate those that have helped us. A motivated workforce is an efficient workforce,” said the minister.
Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, explained that the awardees were selected by a 146-member panel that included directorate level staff of Departments of Human Resources Management, Reform, Coordination, and Improvement, representatives of the Technical Departments, Anti-Corruption Unit, SERVICOM, Joint Union Negotiation Council of the Ministry and corporate sponsors.
She noted that the diversity in the selection process was to ensure its credibility, adding that awardees were chosen based on guidelines and weighting set-out in the R&RS Policy of the Federal Civil Service, which was approved by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and validated by representatives of Ministries, Extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies of the Federal Civil Service.
“The scheme strikes a balance between acknowledgement for work well done, maximising competitiveness and improving productivity. The Rewards and Recognition Programme is an initiative that is uncommon in its desire to identify, honour, and celebrate Federal Public Servants, the very pillars of our nation,” she said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, noted that the civil service had, for long, neglected to incentivize and reward its employees.
Mustapha, who was represented by Dr. Habiba Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, noted that the practice around the world is that when workers are recognised, not always financially, they are motivated to help in the attainment of institutional goals. He advised those who were not selected this year to strive to be among the next set of awardees.
Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Folasade Yemi-Esan, represented by Mrs. Ngozi Onwudiwe, Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, told the gathering that staff welfare is a key component of the Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (2021-2025).
She explained that the R&RS will play a critical role in the implementation of the Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (2021-2025), which has the goal of making the Federal Civil Service into a world-class citizen-centred institution.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, Mrs. Janet Payida Damaryam commended the ministry for pioneering the R&RS in the Federal Civil Service, saying: “A reward and recognition system will surely encourage improved performance by civil servants.”