Organised labour under the auspices of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has condemned the Federal Government refusal to restore the single four-year tenure for Permanent Secretary and two-term of four years (eight years) tenure for Directors in the Federal Civil Service.
The ASCSN National President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, described as unfortunate and insensitive the alleged Government’s decision not to withdraw the offensive and provocative circular.
“We are shocked that despite public outcry against the abolition of tenure policy in the Federal Civil Service, the government has vowed never to reverse its decision on the issue.
“This is very unfortunate and portrays the government as being insensitive to the plight of thousands of civil servants and other stakeholders who have continued to urge it to rescind its decision on the matter in the interest of the public service.”
He warned that if the decision to abolish the tenure system was designed to import all manner of persons from other services including the private sector into the Federal Civil Service in order to dislodge senior civil servants who had served the nation meritoriously for two to three decades, the government would have the trade union movement to contend with because the unions would deploy all the tactics in their arsenal to resist the execution of the plot.
“Government should be seen to be fair and just and that is when it can earn the respect and trust of the people,” he stressed.
He recalled that the tenure policy was introduced in 2009 by the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua to create vacancies and promote senior civil servants who had suffered stagnation and frustration for years.
The ASCSN president posited that before the policy was introduced, some officers were serving as directors for upward of 16 years or more meaning that they were brought into the public service to occupy positions whey were never qualified for.
“Thus, if the government does not have a hidden agenda, why is it bent on abrogating a policy that has brought stability and opportunity for career progression in the civil service?
“Even if this tenure policy was introduced by a previous administration, is it sufficient reason to scrap it simply because successive governments in Nigeria do not see anything good in the policies of their predecessors.”
According to him in November last year, the Federal Government retired about 20 Permanent Secretary even when their tenures had not expired and proceeded in February this year to extend for one year the tenure of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Jamila Shu’ara in flagrant violation of the Public Service Rules.
“The same government has also imported persons who know nothing about civil service norms, values, working processes and procedures from outside the service as permanent secretaries for political expediency.
“We, therefore, demand for the umpteenth time that the government should desist forthwith from its policy summersaults that is destroying the civil service and restore without further delay the tenure policy for permanent secretaries and directors in the interest of equity, justice, and fair-play in the Federal Civil Service,” Kaigama said.