NICO Minna State Office, from the 5th-7th of October, 2015, organised a 3-day intensive in-house training programme, designed to inculcate in culture workers a sense of pride, encourage them to preserve the job they have and give their best on the job, as the saying goes that, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

In her address to formally declare the programme open, the Head, NICO Minna State Office, Mrs. Olufunke Ndukwe said that the purpose of the in-house training/induction was to equip staffers with the necessary information they needed to perform effectively and to build self-confidence in the Civil Service, adding that she had implicit confidence in the calibre of the resource persons, and that they will do justice to the areas selected for them to lecture.

She appreciated the efforts of everyone, especially their contributions to make the training programme a reality, imploring everyone to take the event serious, as any knowledge gained will be useful in future, and also instructing the Administration Department to come up with modalities on departmental briefings, so as to make staffers effective and dependable cultural officers.

In the lecture series, Mallam Sidi Galadima kick-started with the Rudiments and Code of Ethics in the Public Service, which, to him, is the root of moral and ethical stability of any organization, saying the issue of values, standards and discipline in the service are very critical and that, these are no doubt subsumed in our attitude as a people and a community.

He opined that the conduct of the public service or administration in Nigeria is characterised by displaced sense of purpose, visionless disposition, distrust, nepotism, disregard for time, lack of discipline, and absence of organisational loyalty; and that, this informed the training programme which is meant to sensitize and appeal to the conscience of culture workers as well as challenge them to reflect, adding that suggestions will be proffered in order for them to appreciate the consequences of their actions or behaviours.

In his lecture, Mallam Galadima touched on leadership in an organization, the meaning of words used in an organisation, methods used to locate problems, i.e., criticism, competition, deviation from past performance, and the deviation from proposed plans.

He also highlighted the principles of ethical conduct and things that constitute offences in civil service, specifically, general inefficiency: when a staffer is unable to discharge duties; misconduct which is mostly to civil offences; and serious misconduct, which is criminal in nature.

He concluded his lecture with the words of Jeff Keller, a motivational speaker that, “Attitude is all you need,” stating that it is hoped staffers will portray positive attitudes in NICO, from now on, by being good administrators, adept in their functions and responsibilities, refuse to engage in or condone conducts that do not reflect negative cultures as a people.

On her part, the Head of Administration and Human Resources Department, Mrs. Grace Dominic Iorapuu, presented a lecture on leave and welfare, where she enlightened officers on different types of leave, the procedures and eligibility; that welfare and social welfare events are recognised and attended to in NICO, e.g. Marriages, births, and burials; environmental facilities, office maintenance, first aid box, health (NHIS), etc.

According to her, the above are some social welfare packages that aid staffers to have good and conducive working environment as well as motivating them to exert excellent skills towards effective service delivery; concluding that NICO Minna staffers need to adhere to extant rules and regulations so as to avoid disciplinary actions, just as they need to look forward to exerting excellent skills in their duties.

Mr. Moses Adeniyi, the Head of Audit Unit gave a lecture on Financial Regulations in the Public Sector, saying it is pertinent for all government agencies (MDAs) to be guided by policies formulated by the Federal Government in order to enhance transparency, accountability, and delivering good governance, adding that while cash inflows and outflows are received and disbursed differently, accounts officers must adhere strictly to laid down financial regulations.    

He enlightened staffers on the various types of Audit, informing that it involved legal documents, which serve as guidelines for the preparation of financial statements and interpretation of public sector financial information; and that, these are all in line with the established Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Mr. Saidu Ibrahim, speaking on Information Communication Technology, dwelt majorly on using the computer, given that ICT revolves around it, giving practical examples on how to give the computer command and how to use the internet, and stressing on the need for officers to have basic knowledge of computer appreciation to help them carry out their duties in their various departments.

Mr. Habib Mohammed, on the other hand, x-rayed Financial Regulation in NICO, stating that, the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma is the Chief Accounting Officer of the Institute, who defends every budget proposal on behalf of the organization, enlightening officers on the different units under the Finance and Accounts Department and how they work hand-in-hand.

Mrs. Gloria Ochowechi, the Head of Research and Documentation Department, in her presentation, highlighted various events organized by NICO, namely, Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), Annual Round Conference Table, Training Workshop for Traditional Rulers and Cultural Officers, Training School, NICO Public Lecture, Promoting Nigeria Dress Culture, and so many others.

According to her, so many aspects of culture are documented for future references and that enhancing the knowledge of cultural officer requires conducting proper researches, which can be from either primary or secondary sources, adding that, primary sources might involve going to the remote areas, local settings for observation or being part of the festivals; while secondary sources might require consulting other people`s views on particular research topics.

She talked on the types of researches carried out in NICO, which are mainly tangible and intangible, saying that, in Nigeria, there are several festivals that have been documented; some have been abolished due to the fact that they are assumed to be detrimental to human nature and religious faith; while there are still some that are presently observed in various regions and documented, e.g., Eyo festival, New Yam festival and others.

On her part, the Head of Store Unit, Mrs. Veronica Onoja, stressed the importance of a store in every organization, saying it is where government assets are kept; and that every government assets is valued and, even though damaged, it must be accounted for and not disposed; and she showed participants practical examples of some government assets used in the store department.

To carryout proper functions, she noted, there are some established bodies that check activities in the store department, adding that the Public Service Rules stipulates the right procedure to put up financial requirements, just as the Board of Survey checks all goods purchased and kept in the store, and that whatever they write as their comments, the store officer must sign in conformity.

Mr. Sidi Galadima handled the last lecture, which was on Procurement, saying it is the same thing as purchasing but not the same as buying, as one does not just place an order on assumptions or vague meaning.

According to him, procurement entails clerical functions as it is to meet the needs of the organization as at when required, outlining the 5Rs of procurement: buying materials in the right quantity, buying materials in the right quality, buying materials at the right price, buying from the right source, and delivering material to the right place.

Mr. Galadima stated further that the Procurement Act was meant to minimize waste, cost, and duplication and having good specification of materials needed in an organization, and drew the attention of participants to several procurement offences in the Civil Service as laid down in the Procurement Act.

In closing the 3-day in-house training programme, the NICO Minna State head, Mrs. Olufunke Ndukwe appreciated the contributions of everyone, especially the resource persons and encouraged members of staff to learn from various departments/units because knowledge gained can be relevant at any time even during promotional examinations.

In attendance at the lectures, which lasted all the three days at the NICO Minna State office, UK Bello Theatre Complex, Minna, Niger State, were all the staffers in the NICO Minna State Office.

Imomion Grace & Ebute Elssie

Corporate Affairs

NICO Minna