This was the submission made by the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, his Ondo State counterpart, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple at a public lecture in commemoration of the 70th birthday of World Bank Consultant, Professor Oladipupo Adamolekun in Akure at the weekend.
Speaking on the need for the synergy, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi said that civil servants and politicians should not see each other as rivals but as partners in delivering the goods to the people, even as he described the bureaucrats as the engine room and implementers of government's policies and programmes.
Fayemi said that on assumption of office in 2010, one of the first things he did to fine-tune the civil service in the State was the designing of the Ekiti State Civil Service Transformation Strategy which saw to the emergence of the State Head of Service, Mr Bunmi Famosaya, who scored the highest mark in the examination held for all Permanent Secretaries in the State.
He said the examination which was handled by Prof. Adamolekun produced Nigeria's first Head of Service appointed on the basis of performance in an examination and not political affiliation. He said that the development also made the state civil service to be in tune with the change factor and poised to deliver the goods to the people of the State in partnership with the executives.
In his own comment, Governor Mimiko urged politicians to embrace bureaucrats as partners; saying though many civil servants are still fairly well trained yet a lot would get done when there was a synergy between them.
Mimiko said that there was need to re-define the civil service rules and tailor them for quick development; saying that existing rules may slow down development since they are time-consuming.
He added that when these are tailored towards making a difference in the lives of the people, poverty and unemployment would be rid from the society.
In her lecture titled: 'Relationship Between Higher Civil Servants and their Political Masters', the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and former Head of Service of the Federation , Ms Amal Pepple said the duo must understand that they occupy strategic positions in government and it was vital for them to maintain cordial relations in order to render services to the people.
Pepple added that they must not allow their differences to undermine the need to collaborate and complement each other and add value to the lives of the people.
While stressing the neutrality and the apolitical nature of the Civil Service, Pepple stated that civil servants are expected to serve the duly constituted government of the day regardless of its political affiliation.
She said that if Nigeria would actualise the vision 20:2020, there was need for collaboration between the political and bureaucratic class in order to 'effectively harness the potentialities from the two divide for resolving urgent national concerns and strategic priorities'.