There was tension among civil servants in Osun State, on Thursday, as Governor Rauf Aregbesola, directed all directors and acting directors in ministries and agencies to proceed on three months compulsory leave.
When the Nigerian Tribune visited the state secretariat, located at Abere, on Thursday, some workers were seen discussing the development in hush tones, expressing concerns over what may be the fate of such directors, after the expiration of the compulsory leave.
The state government had argued that the directive on compulsory leave to the directors was in tandem with Rule 100107 of Osun State Service Rules, 2011.
According to a circular obtained by Nigerian Tribune, “the state governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has directed that all officers occupying the positions of director (either in Acting or Held Against Post (HAP) capacity and above, who are yet to proceed on 2014, 2015 and 2016 annual vacation leaves should do so with immediate effect.”
The circular letter with reference no SMD. 61/159 dated 2nd November, 2016 and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office, Mr S. A Aina reads in part: “The affected officers are to hand over to the next immediate officers to them for continuous of their official duties during their vacations.”
“However, all officers who are to proceed on such leaves should be on standby in case they are needed for sensitive official assignment like preparation for 2017 budget estimates and ongoing staff screening exercise.”
“It has been observed that many officers in the state public service have not taken their annual vacation leaves in recent time, a development that is having deleterious psychological effect on their state of health and mental stability. It is the duty of the government to address this abnormally in the overall public interest”.
The letter, which was copied to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief of Staff to the Governor, Head of Service, chairmen of Statutory Boards and Parastatals, Permanent Secretaries, Council Managers among others however, clarified that “Heads of MDAs where operations will be adversely affected by the implementation of this circular are advised to contact Public Service Office (PSO) for waivers.”
Meanwhile, efforts made to get the reaction of the governor to the development proved abortive as several calls put through to the cell phone of his Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, were not answered, neither the text message sent to his phone replied.