The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta has stated that in transforming the public service to meet the expectations of the citizens, innovations and responsiveness in service delivery are very vital. He thus recommended that government should introduce the public service excellence award for Ministries, Departments and Agencies which excel in all spheres of operations in order to increase productivity and efficiency, ANGELEEN NKWOCHA reports.
In today’s global competitive environment, delivering quality service in all sectors is considered as an essential strategy for success, survival and economic growth of a nation. There is no doubt that a person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected. To this effect, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has called on the government to introduce Public Service Excellence Award for MDAs that excel in all spheres of their operations in order to increase productivity and efficiency.
Danbatta made this call in Kaduna recently on a paper titled “Evaluating the Framework for Measuring the Quality of Service Delivery in the Public Sector”, which was presented on his behalf by Engr. Ubale Maska, NCC's Executive Commissioner Technical Services, at the National Stakeholders' Conference on Public Service Delivery in Nigeria.
Danbatta averred that such initiative, will be good incentives for the Public Sector which is under increasing pressure to demonstrate that its operations are consumer-centric and there is continuous improvement in performance. At the conference, which thematic focus was ‘Building Government Capabilities for Service Delivery: Implementing Performance’, Danbatta noted that the dynamism in the tempo and sophistication of consumer needs and expectations demands impeccable quality of service delivery. He submited that this reality imposes new strategies for success and survival in today's competitive business environment, and the outcomes correlate to the wellness of economies.
The NCC boss said that organizations that express passion for the consumer must be honest, give adequate value for money, offer quality products or services, demonstrate high reputation, offer user-friendly processes, meet deadlines, accept and respond to criticisms, as well as institute open complaint management processes.
According to him, these are the bouquet NCC serves and continues to improve upon even in the face of challenges of service delivery in the Nigerian public sector. He further averred that the Nigerian public service must deal with the absence of monitoring of outcomes; failure to hold people accountable for poor service delivery; shortage of service capacity and inaccessibility; poor service quality and customer care; as well as lack of support services in the area of finance, technology, procurement, and personnel that are required for qualitative service delivery.
The NCC Chief Executive Officer told the conference that the pre-eminence of the consumer among several stakeholders in the telecom sector is demonstrated in the 8-Point Agenda unveiled by the management of the commission in 2016, stressing that NCC is determined to ensure availability, affordability and accessibility to the Nigerian telecom consumer as contained in the declaration of 2017 as the Year of the Nigerian Telecom Consumer.
While promising that NCC will ensure improvement in the quality of service using the extant key performance indicators, he outlined some of the key aspects of NCC framework for ensuring quality service delivery to include consultative regulation of the communications industry, transparent licensing processes, technology neutrality, consumer outreach programmes, robust complaints management processes, multiplatform communication management, and level playing field for all licensees to ensure fair competition.
He explained that public sector organizations have come under increasing pressure in the last few decades to deliver quality services and improve efficiencies and that customer needs and expectations are changing when it comes to government services and their quality requirements, adding that customer service excellence is about customer satisfaction which applies to both internal and external customers.
“Customer service excellence is how well an organization is able to constantly and consistently exceed the needs of the customer. Excellent customer service is evidenced when an organization is honest, gives value for money, has a high reputation, meets deadlines, has quality products and services, has user-friendly processes, responds to criticism, encourages complaints and handles them properly as well as demonstrates that it is passionate about the customer”.
According to him, in transforming the public service to meet the expectations of the citizens, innovation and responsiveness in service delivery are very vital and they are indeed taking place around the world as governments recognize the value that can be achieved by these – both in terms of desired policy outcomes and increased citizen trust in government, adding that evidence shows that there are strong links between service and the trust and confidence that citizens have in government and that governments have often been perceived to lag behind the private sector in quality service delivery.
“It is pertinent to note that the essential requirement to create better public service is the leadership commitment with the support of decision makers in relation to the allocation and utilization of resources in order to improve the quality of public service. However, improving the quality of public service is difficult to achieve when the participation of users the services in the development is very low. The most important aspects of service users participation is their aspiration for variety, quality and appropriate costing of service delivery.
“Trust is without doubt the key to success for improving public services. Mutual trust will generate positive communication and interaction and create more meaningful services”.
Responding to newsmen on behalf of the EVC, Engr. Ubale Maska said that the commission is taking the lead to ensure that no stone is left unturned in delivering efficient service to the public, by efficiently monitoring and regulating telecom operators.
On some of the extant laws in the public service that could serve as deterrent to efficient service delivery he said: “For us, our laws are not out of date, the Communication Act under which we operate was created in 2003 and there have been two reviews since then, our legal department drafts relevant regulations and bills to the National Assembly to help us pass”.
Danbatta from all indications has drove home the point that deliberate thoughtful plan of action through strong organizational structure policies and practices facilitate effective and efficient service delivery. No wonder the commission under his leadership recently got a high rating in institutional work processes by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR).