The phrase: Big Brother is watching you, is taken from George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Meaning; one’s actions and intentions are being monitored by the government as a means of controlling and suppressing the will of the populace. Big Brother is watching you, after all.
Big Brother is a fictional character and symbol in Orwell’s novel. He is ostensibly the leader of Oceania, a totalitarian state wherein the ruling party wields total power “for its own sake” over the inhabitants.
But in the case of 10 members of staff of the State House, it was not to control or suppress them, rather the Big Brother was watching them to reward them for a job well done and to spur others to be exemplary while delivering service. These members of staff have been working with State House for years. They have been carrying out the tasks assigned to them with full sense of responsibility. They never envisaged any special reward for their efforts, other than their monthly salary.
The reward came during week when the Servicom Unit, State House, Abuja, organised an award ceremony to recognise and reward outstanding performance. These 10 members of staff made the honours’ list.
The awardees received undisclosed cash gifts and plaques, and were recognised for outstanding works in administration, stores management, catering, library, transportation and medical departments.
Mr Yashim Nuhu, Senior Motor Driver Mechanic II, Transport Department bagged the Outstanding Driver award. He has put in eight years in service. He is popular for his cordiality and enviable sense of dedication to duty among staff and journalists covering the seat of power.
“His main schedule of driving shuttle bus makes it imperative for him to play the role of a first contact person to many highly placed visitors to State House and staff alike,” the citation on him said.
Another recipient, Mr Gwaza Habila, Principal Catering Officer, has put in 19 years and catered for guests, including Queen Elizabeth II of England during a state visit in 2003. He was given the Outstanding Catering Staff Award and praised for his “hard work and effectiveness at presidential functions” as well as imparting knowledge to his subordinates.
One of the two female recipients, Mrs Margaret Arigu, Principal Executive Officer II, State House Medical Center, was decorated with Outstanding Medical Registry Staff. She has served for 23 years. She received encomiums for being “very professional, courteous, respectful to staff and clients alike.”
Other recipients were Mr Ogba Ukpabi, Evergreen Outstanding Contributor to SERVICOM Unit; Mr Olutayo Fasipe, Outstanding SERVICOM Departmental Representative; Mr Abubakar Wambai, Outstanding Stores Staff and Mr Rilwan Badega, Outstanding Library Staff.
Others included Mr Mohammed Abdulkarim, Outstanding Finance and Accounts Staff; Mr Samuel Arigu, Outstanding Registry Staff and Mrs Christiana Kontekopo, Outstanding Staff Canteen Staff.
Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, urged the staff to remain dedicated to ensure that State House maintains its place as the premier SERVICOM MDA. He disclosed that in the past two years, State House received back-to-back SERVICOM National Office Awards as the best SERVICOM MDA in its group of over 90 government establishments.
He also announced that the best Nodal Officer in 2018 was given to State House Nodal Officer, Mr A.M Ogueri, while the Awards of SERVICOM Champions were given to Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary, State House.
National Coordinator of SERVICOM, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, told the workers: “The benefits for giving these awards are to increase employees’ productivity, performance and organization’s profitability. When these happen we retain top talents in the civil service, reduce mediocrity in the system, uphold excellence and create team spirit.”