Ondo Service Improvement Programme (ODSIP) commenced fully on 11th December, 2019 after its launch by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State. This was followed by the inauguration of over 120 ODSIP Change Ambassadors, by the Head of Service – Mr. Dare Aragbaiye, to drive reform at each MDA level. Series of stakeholders meetings and capacity building programs, for the Reform Ambassadors, have also taken place.


The Head of Service quickly set in motion machinery for reducing the rigorous processing of retirement benefits. The exercise, involving all critical stakeholders, saw to the reduction of the check list of documents required for processing retirement benefits by all Public Servants in the State and Local Government levels.

The check list for processing of Retirement/Death benefits for Civil Servants was reduced from 30 to 14, that of the Teaching and non-Teaching retirees was reduced from 32 to 18 while the check list for Local Government and Primary School Retirees was reduced from 33 to 16.

Details of the reform measures were rolled out in the Pension Transitional Department Circular letter Ref. No. PD2/11/105 of 17th October, 2019 on Measures to Ameliorate Problems Associated with Processing of Retirement Benefits.
Some of the other key measures are as follows:


  • retiring Officers can also collect forms and the new approved check list of requirements at the various Local Government Area Offices of the State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS) nearest to them (for State Retiring Officers) and at the 18 Local Government Area Secretariats (for Retiring Primary School Teachers and Local Government Workers)
  • all intending retirees would no longer be expected to seek individual clearance from the Local Government Staff Loans Board, Cooperative and Thrift Societies, Micro-Credit Agency, Agric Loan, Housing Loan, Car Loan Departments and other Banks/Finance Houses before processing their documents.

This reform has been widely applauded by workers, while efforts are ongoing to further digitalize the process and make it seamless.


On the 18th of March, 2020, the Head of Service honoured the invitation of Local Government Service Commission and its workers, by paying them a historic visit. The Head of Service, at the occasion, inaugurated CHANGE AGENTS for all the LG Councils and the LG Staff Training School, making a total of nineteen (19). He also commissioned the LGSC new Clinic and declared it open for use.


  • Logistics (Office accommodation) which is delaying necessary staffing and full blown operations
  • Fixed mindset of workers against change, which is receiving attention



  • Sensitization visit to Ministry of Lands and Housing
  • Sensitization visit to Ministry of Health
  • Sensitization visit to Public Service Training Institute (PSTI)
  • Sensitization visit to Ministry of Education/ANCOPSS members
  • Sensitization visit to ADOFOM Interactive Roundtable Forum
  • Sensitization of South-west Reform Coordinating Agencies(RCA) at Community of Practice (COP) meetings


  • ODSIP sensitization on first day of the Month at Service Matters, SITA, Min. of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural resources, etc.
  • ODSIP Sanitation at Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, ADP
  • Training for HoA members on Work Ethics and Performance
  • “Efiyewa” – a radio sensitization programme by Service Matters Dept. in Yoruba


The State government organised a one-day training programme for Change Ambassadors on select topics which include Growth Mindset, Mandate Mapping and Process Mapping.

The training programme took place at the Public Service Training Institute (PSTI), Ilara-Mokin. It was designed to prepare the Ambassadors for the task ahead. The Head of Service reiterated that the mantra of ODSIP, which is ‘To Give My Best’ should not be a mere routine chant but be made to sink into the hearts of all government workers and reflect in the discharge of their duties.

The Permanent Secretary of the Reform Office, Mr Oluwagbenga Akingbasote advised that government workers should, more than ever before, deliver quality, efficient and effective service to the public, so as to show gratitude for the overwhelming support and motivation received from the state government through regular promotion, payment of salaries and allowances including the arrears owed by the previous administration.


Since the pre-colonial era, colonial era and after Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Nigeria’s Public Service, otherwise called the Bureaucracy, has been the machinery for articulating and implementing government policies, programmes and projects.  It has been an integral part of government and has served as the major plank for service delivery to the public.  Populated by a body of career officers, the Public Service determines not only the efficiency and effectiveness of any administration but also its altitude.  This explains why the Public Service must keep improving in its structure, focus and content in order to stay relevant and to continue to meet the challenges of its traditional role in governance.  It is said “for there to be a working economy, there must be a working Public Service”.

Towards achieving this feat, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi AkeredoluSAN, on assumption of office in February 2017, took the bull by the horns to retool the Public Service of the State. Having met a disoriented Public Service battered in morals and morale and hamstrung by several drawbacks such as arrears of seven months salaries and allowances, politicisation of the rank and file of the Service, low commitment and loyalty, among others, Mr. Governor decided it was time to bring back the State Bureaucracy to the path of honour and pride.

Within two years and in the absence of any significant improvement in federal allocation, arrears of salaries and allowances owed by the immediate past administration are almost completely defrayed while the hitherto delayed appointment to the post of Permanent Secretary and its equivalent has been addressed with three consecutive batches of such appointment made in the last three years.  Now, public servants are not only back at their desks highly motivated, they are part of the success story of the giant strides of the present administration in its all-round transformation in infrastructure, education, healthcare delivery, to mention but a few.  This is in line with Mr. Governor’s 5-point policy agenda, christened JMPPR which stands for  (1)  Job creation through Agriculture, Entrepreneurship and Industrialisation; (2) Massive infrastructural development and maintenance; (3)  Provision of functional education and technological growth(4)  Provision of accessible and qualitative healthcare and social service delivery  (5)  Rural development and community extension services.

The Governor has continued to ensure that the State Public Service is repositioned.  While swearing-in the new Head of Service, Mr. ‘Dare Aragbaiye on 1st July 2019, he charged the State Public Service to do everything in its power to keep pace with government in its on-going reform in various sectors in order to deliver dividends of democracy to the people of the State.  He admonished that transparency, pro-activeness, resourcefulness and professionalism should be the new outlook of the State Bureaucracy.

Running with Mr. Governor’s charge, the Head of Service, mapped out in earnest, some areas of attention to be urgently addressed for the State Public Service to meet its critical mandate.  The Technical Committee on Service Improvement was promptly inaugurated by the Head of Service. He mandated the Committee to leave no stone unturned in reinvigorating the entire process, procedure and results in the State Public Service. Upon successful completion of the Committee’s assignment, the vision promptly gave birth to a new reform called “Ondo Service Improvement Programme (ODSIP). 

ODSIP identified the following six (6) critical gaps hindering effective service delivery: value deterioration, leadership laxity, process bottlenecks, weak resource management and low revenue drive, poor manpower management and incoherent capacity building approach which have held the State Public Service down in recent times and almost diverted it off course.  The ODSIP initiative is therefore a home-grown answer to address these gaps.

The destination of ODSIP is “to attain a vibrant and resourceful Public Service capable of delivering on Government policies and programmes for the sustainable development of Ondo State”.  It’s motto is – “To give my best” while its focus is encapsulated in the acronym L-REVAMP which stands for:

           L        –       result-oriented Leadership

          Re      –       enhanced Revenue generation and Resource management

          Va       –     ethical Value reorientation

          M       –       optimum Manpower utilization & capacity building

          P        –       Process reengineering.

To address leadership gap, ODSIP prescribes a responsible, resourceful, responsive, exemplary and committed leadership to drive the respective agencies of government for efficient service delivery.   Accounting Officers, in particular, are to be held responsible for the functionality or otherwise of their respective agencies.  Mentoring and coaching of subordinate officers by Heads of Departments has now been made obligatory.

To confront value gap, ODSIP emphasises a sustained value reorientation that encourages regularity in office attendance but condemns lateness, absenteeism, non-challance, rumour-mongering, disloyalty and all forms of unethical practices.

To tackle process gap, ODSIP has set a timeline for completion of official actions with sanctions for defaulters.  On the whole, undue red-tape is being minimised and needless rigorous processes and procedures involved in conduct of government business cut down drastically.  Officers are now required to work smarter and faster using computer in the new dispensation.

To meet manpower/capacity gap, ODSIP is reviewing the staff performance appraisal template to make it capable of eliciting objective performance from officers.  The Public Service Training Institute, Ilara-Mokin is now being put to a better use to train civil servants more rapidly than before.   Accounting Officers are to mandatorily apply 10% of departmental running grants for training as statutorily prescribed. They are required to embark on regular Know Your Staff (KYS) exercise as a way for management to connect with staff.  Agencies of government are to periodically hold in-house refresher courses for workers and step up the coaching of junior officers to bridge performance gap.

To address resource gap, ODSIP has mandated Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to create a central database of all government assets and undertake periodic survey of their conditions or status. Basic working tools should of necessity be provided by Accounting Officers while MDAs should facilitate renovation of government assets, both within and outside the State in earnest, to address dilapidation and decay.

For revenue gap, ODSIP prescribes a continuous review of revenue administration laws/regulations/guidelines to tighten all loose ends and impose stiffer penalties for revenue sabotage; provide effective coordination of all revenue activities and a template for self-accounting agencies to report generated revenues to the State Internal Revenue Services.

To ensure sustainability, ODSIP has a viable governance structure with Mr. Governor as its Patron. The Steering Committee (SC) is made up of the Head of Service as the Chairman with all members of the Senior Management Committee (SMC) and Permanent Secretaries of TESCOM, SUBEB, HMB, LGSC, HASC, Treasury etc., also as members. The function of the Steering Committee is to make decisions on ODSIP matters and review progress, from time to time.  ODSIP Implementation Committee (IC) at MDA level includes all Accounting Officers of MDAs who are to oversee the implementation of ODSIP tenets in their respective MDAs.  In addition, Change Ambassadors (CA) in each MDA will serve as the in-house feedback channel for the Reform Office while the overall coordinating office for ODSIP is the State Reform Office which will serve as its Secretariat.

The details of ODSIP message are contained in a vade mecum called the ODSIP Handbook.

While flagging off the ODSIP Reform, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN had remarked:

Every discerning mind should know that the Bureaucracy, in its present form, is broken and therefore needs to be fixed …  The approach adopted(ODSIP) is not foreign but home-grown.  The whole reform package is a reminder not a revelation.   A reminder to do things as we ought to; a deep search of our inner recesses to deal with the faultiness of the current practices; a wake-up call and a value rebirth.  I cannot agree more that this is what the Public Service needs today …  I urge you to give priority attention to good work ethics, probity, revenue generation and asset maintenance….

 Mr. Governor did not hold back on his support for and expectation on ODSIP.  He declared:

… we won’t expect anything less than the demonstration of the motto of   ODSIP, which is “To Give My Best.  I look forward to a dedicated, resourceful, professional and reengineered Bureaucracy in the State. Please give your best as promised.  You have my full support.

The Head of Ondo State Public Service, Mr. ‘Dare Aragbaiye clearly stated at the ODSIP launch that: 

Workers must turn the searchlight inward and do things better for improved service delivery …  Our hands must not slack on the plough … We are what we are by reason of the Service. As such, we must not only sustain it, we must reinvent it.

According to Mr. Aragbaiye, ODSIP is anchored on principle and attitude, and it is therefore timeless.  To him, developing a positive disposition to work is simple, practicable and effective, not a matter of huge budget or financial prodding.

As the arrowhead of ODSIP, the Head of Service is leading from the front, showing example in character and conduct of the work ethics and values ODSIP preaches.  In no time, evidence are already showing that the State Bureaucracy is attuning itself to ODSIP.  For example, the erstwhile cumbersome pension administration process has been abridged and simplified while plans are underway to fully automate it.  Mentoring and coaching of subordinate officers has commenced across the MDAs while prompt attendance at work and official functions are fast replacing the general non-chalance which had characterised the State Bureaucracy before now.  Accounting Officers are on their toes, so to speak, providing responsible and exemplary leadership in their respective MDAs, following in the footsteps of the Head of Service.  Infact, ODSIP message is spreading fast across the Service.  Officers now adorn the ODSIP crest and vest, and chant on every appropriate occasion, the ODSIP catchphrase to give my best, like a battle cry.  It is gratifying to see the level of positive turn-around now happening to the hitherto dysfunctional Ondo State Public Service within a few months of the birth of ODSIP.

Truly, to the Ondo State Public Service, ODSIP is a new dawn!

ODSIP!  To Give My Best!

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