NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – Public Service Cabinet nominee Margaret Kobia has defended herself as a civil servant who has over the years exhibited high standards of integrity.
Kobia, who appeared before the Jubilee dominated Committee of Appointments after their NASA counterparts made good their threat to boycott the sittings, said she was undoubtedly the right person for the job.
“I bring integrity and honesty in this job and also I bring wealth of knowledge and experience to the extent that I am strongly convinced that I am the right person for the job,” said the former Public Service Commission Chairperson.
While making her case as to why her nomination should be approved, Kobia enumerated crucial issues that she would bring on board if given the mantle to head the Public Service docket.
For instance in matters youth, Kobia, a PhD holder in the field of Human Resource Education from the University of Illinois in USA candidly said that once settles down she would prioritize issues surrounding youths in the country.
She told the committee that she would personally roll out programs that will help create job opportunities for the youth in the country.
Kobia revealed to the committee that as it stands, 19 per cent of youths in the country occupy the work force in the public sector and vowed to ensure that the number rises over the next few years.
“Once confirmed I will try in my best ability to sort out the issue of unemployment among youths in the country, I will work towards ensuring that many youths get to be employed in the public sector.
“University graduates are opting for white collar jobs and that’s a real problem but I am confident that moving forward the youths will be able to embrace entrepreneurship,” she said.
She warned that the country faces a HR crisis as 30 per cent of the technical staff are set to retire from the public service in the next two years. She however, said that the retirements were a blessing in disguise as it would open jobs in the middle level job groups which she said youths would occupy.
On the retirement age, Kobia said that she has no problem with the current retirement age which is 60 years.
“We retire people at 60 years of age. If public service is efficient, it will create a thriving environment for private sector. I’d rather we keep the retirement age at 60.”
She further noted that she would find ways in reviewing the promotion criteria of public servants to help motivate them.
She explained that this will ensure efficiency in service delivery and increase morale within the public service sector.
“Even as we are saying there is a shortage of staff, can we be able to promote these people so that they are more motivated and then we pin the job where it is done to reduce non-performance in the public service,” she stated.