ASCSN laments engagement of perm sec outside civil service, irregular appointment

THE Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has lamented irregular appointments into the civil service, most especially engagement of permanent secretaries from outside the civil service.

The association also regretted the suspension of the tenure policy for permanent secretaries and directors in the civil service, thus describing the suspension as a policy somersault and a retrogressive idea that will take the service many steps backward.

The association came up with this position at its Fourth Quadrennial National Delegates Conference in Abuja, where the members elected Comrade Innocent Bola-Audu, as the new national president to take over from Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama.

In his speech, the President of ASCSN, Comrade Kaigama, said it was disheartening to note that over the years, there had been an upsurge in irregular appointments in the Federal Public Service.

He said: “You will recall that recruitment in the service has always been guided by the Public Service Rules (PSR) 020201-020412. Specific guidelines to be followed are documented and it is not made open-ended. Unfortunately, we are still having cases of irregular appointments/recruitments into the Federal Public Service including indiscriminate transfers of persons from the State Public Services and private sector into the federal service without due regard for qualifications, years of experience and hierarchy.”

The association, therefore, demanded that all appointments/recruitments into the Federal Public Service should be done in line with the Scheme of Service, Federal Civil Service Commission guidelines on appointment, promotion and discipline, Public Service Rules and Establishment Circulars.

This, according to him, will guarantee equity, fairness and justice as well as restore sanity in the system.

He also pointed out that one of the most contentious issues the association has been battling with in recent times is the vexed issue of engagement of Permanent Secretaries from outside the civil service.

This phenomenon, according to Kaigama, has assumed a new dimension as non-career civil servants are being drafted by federal and state governments to occupy the position of Permanent Secretaries in contravention of the Public Service Rules and other legal instruments including the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria all of which stipulate that Permanent Secretaries should be recruited from within the civil service.

“To worsen the issue, some of those appointed are even above the statutory retirement age of 60 years”, he lamented.

He further stressed the need to restore tenure policy for Permanent Secretaries and Directors in the civil service, adding that the government approved a two term of four years for Permanent Secretaries and a single eight year tenure for Directors in the Federal Public Service.

Kaigama explained that tenure policy subsisted until 2016 when, unfortunately,  the present administration unilaterally opted to suspend it.

“It is instructive to note that the tenure policy for Permanent Secretaries and Directors in the Federal Public Service opened new vistas of opportunities for senior civil servants to be advancing regularly to the top hierarchy of the service and substantially reduce the incidences of frustration and stagnation as it were”, he stressed.

Following the outcome of the association’s election, Kaigama handed over the leadership to Comrade Bola-Audu who emerged the national president. Comrade Bola-Audu will lead other elected national officers to steer the affairs of the union for the next four years.

Other elected officers are: Comrades Kennis Ngene, Olubunmi Fajobi, Tommy Etim Okon, and Adah Terlumun (National Vice President); Comrade Rahab Maigari (National Treasurer); Comrade Dounana Tari (National Internal Auditor); and Comrade Shehu Mohammed (National Trustee). Others are: Comrades Amodu Isiaka, Okere Ejike, Babayo Hamma, Adebayo Mubashiru, and Excellent Efedhoma (Ex-Officio members).

 

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