ABC Capacitates its New Staff
The Attitudinal and Behavioural Change Secretariat has ended a two day Orientation Programme on Thursday 20th February,2014 for it new staff right across the country at the Ministry of Information and Communication, Youyi Building on the theme ”Staff Empowerment for a Strategic Fight against Negative Attitude”. (Photo: ABC Secretariat Executive Director, Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas)
The Orientation was to enhance the new staff about the workings of the Secretariat, their attitudes towards their work.
During the Programme, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, on Hon. Theophilus Nicol informed the new staff that the main purpose of the training is to prepare their minds on what the Secretariat is expecting from.
“It is meant to organize your minds and to give the frame of mind set towards your specifications, he told them, he calling on them to be very diligent to their work and expect applauds from the public. He lauded the relentless efforts of the Executive Director of the Secretariat Dr.Ivan Ajibola Thomas and the National Coordinator and Second in Command Madam Nanette Thomas, the Deputy minister called on the new Staff to follow their footprints. He disclose that the Secretariat is doing very well, “President Koroma is very happy about the work of the ABC,” said Hon.Theo Nicol,he also noted that more is expected from the Secretariat. He encourage them to put on the right attitude to their work as they are the ones to set standards for others to follow, he emphasized.
The Executive Director, Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas declared the intent stressing on the words ‘Empowerment’, ‘strategic fight” and negative attitude ‘derived from the theme of the Orientation.
Noting that, the Secretariat is empowering its staff to give the right power and status to do their jobs, adding that the Coordinators and their Deputies are the ones that are going to steer the ship of the ABC in their Regions.
On the issue of strategic fight, the Executive Director said that strategic plan is what makes Organizations succeed, stressing that, that is why the ABC has decided to draw up a strategic plan to ensure that there is a path to walk by the Secretariat in Changing the negative attitudes of Sierra Leoneans because changing the negativities of people is not something that could be done overnight.
The Executive Director when talking about negative attitudes called on his staff to take the lead, adding that they have a lot of people to work with starting from Women, the Police, Youths, Chiefs and Religious leaders.
“The President has given us the mandate to do the right thing in transforming the negative behaviours and attitudes of people”, he said, noting that they should put on the right attitudes towards their work as a lot of things had in the past tried to crumble the Secretariat, “but those things would never happen to the ABC in my era” he pledge. In his closure, he warned all workers that the Secretariat would not hesitate to sack any worker that did not perform well within six month.
The Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications, Mr. Gilbert H .Cooper, lectured about change as a process of transformation for both society and individual. He noted that change starts from a little point and with time it grows depending on the type of change and how it is going to be implemented.
Mr. Cooper noted that the process of change starts from the innovators to the opinion leaders that need to accept the concept before it spreads on to those that drag their feet in accepting change and others that are bound by traditions. He emphasized that change could be sustained through compliance to the existing Laws, implementing punitive measures and by putting the change in to practice by the change agents.
Mr. .Desmond Bailor, the Human Resource Officer, Ministry of Information and Communications, explained about managing Human Resource, Performance Training and Staff Development which he said are very good for new staff to perform very well as expected. “Staff of ABC should be human resource personnel because you are influencing change in this country” he said, adding that the staff should also see themselves as guidance counselling personnel.
During the Orientation process, the National Coordinator and second –in-Command of the ABC, Madam Nanette Thomas, lectured about the Mission, Vision, Objectives and Administrative structure of the ABC. She told the staff that the mission of the ABC, is to influence Positive attitudes and behaviours by informing and educating the citizens of Sierra Leone for a change in negative mind-set that is impeding development. For the vision, she said that it is to make Sierra Leone a well governed and prosperous society that loves positive attitudes and behavior for socio-economic development.
She stated that the main goal of the Secretariat is to enable Sierra Leoneans to transform their country from a failed state to a peaceful, progressive and United Nation, adding that, to develop and implement effective educational programs will encourage positive attitude and behavior at all levels.
Mrs. Antoinette Roberts orientated the staff about how they should be ethical leaders, she noted that as ethical leaders, they should act and live their lives as ethical leaders at all times. She emphasized that the new staff should behave like ethical leaders because ethical behavior brings respect to themselves and their Organization and breeds trust. She further stated that as ethical leaders their characteristics should be demonstrating high level of integrity and should use their social powers to serve the greater goods as well as assisting their followers in gaining a sense of personal competence and extend their trust to their workers.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications, Mr. Paul Sandi lectured about the workings and procedures of the Civil Service. He encouraged them to get themselves with the regulatory framework of the Civil Service, Codes, Regulations and Rules for them to be knowledgeable with how the Civil service operates as they are the working document to create an enabling environment to improve service delivery. He told the ABC staff that it is an Administrative procedure for them to go for work on time and to leave there on the right time and to take good care of Office assets and to use them for their intended purpose.
Mr. Issa Donald Newman, accountant Ministry of Information and Communications orientated the new staff on financial procedures, he told them to manage the finances that the secretariat is going to give them appropriately. He emphasized on the importance of financial records in an Organization and that those records are the ones the Auditors use whenever they visit any Organization to Audit and that it is those records that development Partners and the government uses for Annual Public Budgeting. He emphasized on the country’s existing finance regulatory framework and the Importance of following public procedures as well as how the Secretariat is being funded.
The Acting principal of Milton Margai College of Education and Technology lectured about the concepts of attitudes, behaviors and change regarding attitude at work .He defined attitude as the response of people towards everything around them, he encourages the staff to put on the right attitudes towards their works. He noted that the way they relate in their work place explain about their attitude towards themselves and encourages them to show good working relationship in their work place.
Mr. Joshua Nicol, Lecturer of Mass Communications Department Fourah Bay College taught about the effectiveness of Mass Communications in an Organization, he explained that Mass Communication is the means through which an Organization sells their aim and Objectives to the Public but noted that different public should be taken in to cognizance and how the message is being delivered to them. “Mass Communications is very vital to the effective discharge of management functions, it is the means through which employees are made aware of the Objectives and aims of an Organization.
Madam Manja Kargbo, The Technical Director, African Foundation for Development Orientated the staff about the ABC working in local Community as change agents, in her lectures she explained the essence of working with people, she further said that young people are the next generation, “they are important future decision makers and stakeholders”, young people are very concern about issues affecting them and the Nation. She noted that talking to young people can be challenging but the workers should not relent as it is sometimes enjoyable and rewarding. She encourage the staff to be very vibrant in reaching out to youths in their various communities and that in reaching out to the youths, the staff needs to first identify their audience and prepare themselves very well so they can take the right message to them. And in doing that, you can change the Lyrics of popular songs to suit your message.
Mr. Mohamed J. Musa, head of Procurement Capacity Building Department at the Office of the National Procurement Office spoke about Institutional, Social and Financial Mobilization. He explained about how Utilization of Public Fund and Public Procurement should be, stating that these are the major areas where people are found wanting after being audited, he admonished them about the positive impacts of proper procurement and warned them to be very careful with the money’s given to them to implement ABC’s programmes.
Mr. Abdulai Bayraytay, the National Publicity & Outreach Coordinator (Office of the Government Spokesman) spoke about working with Youth in the Sierra Leone Community, he started by congratulating the executives of the ABC Secretariat for recruiting new staff to carry on the ABC work across the country.
“I am not an expert in working with Youth but have worked with Young People for the past years now “he said, he told the ABC staff not to be afraid of going to those communities, that they should go around, behave like one of them so that, the forum for interaction will be created, the youths in those communities will feel safe to talk to you, observe anything affecting them and try to address it, if the need arises also attend their activities. He admonished the staff of ABC to be pace setters in their communities so that the youth in those communities will take them as their role models. He told the ABC to have a session on ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) as they might be facing some of these challenges within the societies they might visit.
The Orientation was ended by a presentation which was done by the newly recruited staff across the country to do a strategic discussion on the way forward for 2014 as per performance tracking table for the Secretariat.
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