All Civil Servants Ought To Own A Home – Osinbajo

A file photo of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for a reform of the Nigerian civil service by doing “something bold and big that will make a difference.”

According to him, a mass housing policy for all civil servants fits into this “bold and big” agenda, a statement signed by presidential spokesperson Laolu Akande on Friday said.

Prof Osinbajo reportedly made the comment on Thursday at the Presidential Villa when he received a brief on the Federal Civil Service Strategy & Implementation Plan 2021-2025, presented by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan.

The meeting is a Presidential Level Briefing of the reform process of the Federal Civil Service which has been on since 2017.

The reform is being led by Steering and Implementation Committees with membership drawn from the public and private sectors with the engagement of development partners.

Thursday’s meeting was attended by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami; Ministers of Labour & Employment, Dr Chris Ngige; Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; Ministers of State, Budget & National Planning, Prince Clem Agba; and Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu.

The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, some of Nigeria’s development partners including officials of the World Bank and the President of the Africa Initiative for Governance, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, (a private sector representative and member of Steering Committee) were also present.

Speaking after listening to Dr Yemi-Esan’s presentation and subsequent contributions by ministers and other participants at the meeting, the Vice President noted that “it is evident that perhaps, for the first time in a long time, some very serious attention is being paid to all of the various issues in our civil service.”

According to Osinbajo, “I think that we should really do something that is bold, big and that will really make the difference in order to address some of the issues especially that of accommodation for civil servants.

“We can do much more with mass housing. We have a target now of 300,000 houses under our ESP social housing scheme. CBN has allocated N200 billion, but we have seen that we can provide mass housing, and we can make civil servants beneficiaries of the scheme.”

“Though the housing scheme is very modest, it is the sort of thing that we can at least do, to begin to take into account, the fact that everybody who worked for the civil service deserves to live in their own home. There must be a strategy for giving everybody a place to live in,” Osinbajo added.

Making the point about access to affordable homes being one of the easiest ways to get people out of poverty, Prof Osinbajo said “it is a vital part of what we are trying to do”, noting that “we must address it. A civil servant ought to be able to own a home, and justify to his family the reason why he went for the job”.

Relating his experience while serving as Attorney General in Lagos State, Prof. Osinbajo said that like what was done with the reform of the Lagos State Judiciary, fixing the welfare of federal civil servants would be key to addressing challenges associated with productivity and corruption.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation also presented a report on the implementation status of the Federal Civil Service Strategy Plan 2017-2021.

Earlier in her presentation, Dr Yemi-Esan identified staff welfare particularly, remuneration and housing as areas that require better focus and urgent intervention by the Federal Government.

She appealed for improved support, particularly in funding the implementation of successive strategy and implementation plans to overhaul the service for better productivity.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation said the current reform in the Federal Civil Service has enabled government to save huge sums through the verification of personnel payroll and digitization of some operations, among others.

The Head of Service would continue to lead the reform process as the 2021-2025 plan goes forward to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

Thursday’s meeting featured comments and observations on the proposed plan tabled on behalf of the Steering Committee chaired by the Head of Service.

‘Civil Servants, Not Politicians Are Nigeria’s Biggest Challenge’

Politicians are popularly perceived to be the biggest problem and challenge in the nation’s progress but Charles Omole says this is a wrong perspective and the biggest challenge are the civil servants, not politicians.

Omole, an international legal scholar and consultant said this on Saturday during The Platform, a programme facilitated and hosted by the Senior Pastor of Covenant Nation, Poju Oyemade.

He noted that civil servants play a huge role in bringing about change in the country and wield power even more than a Federal Minister.

Many people in Nigeria feel the biggest problem we have is the politicians. What if I tell you that is not true? Do you know what the biggest problem we in Nigeria? The biggest challenge we have to change this country is in our civil service.

“Those who know how Civil Service works know that they can grind any system to a halt,” Omole said.

 

 

He lamented that many Civil servants are against innovation and modernisation.

“Many of them oppose modernisation. They oppose innovation. They like things being done manually. I wonder why? How many of you know that constitutionally, no Federal Minister in this country can sign a contract to give you job? How many of you understand that? It is the Permanent Secretary that do that.

“So how can a Minister steal without the Civil Service? In fact many times, it is the Civil Servants that teach the novice Minster how to do it,” he said.

The 2021 edition of The Platform is currently being held in Iganmu, Lagos, is themed ‘Is Devolution Of Powers The Solution To Nigeria’s Problem?’

Click on the link below to watch the programme live.

Edo Govt To Recruit 1,400 Civil Servants

File photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

 

The Edo State Government will on Monday commence the recruitment of 1,400 civil servants in the state.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Friday by the Head of Service, Mr Anthony Okungbowa, in the state.

He said the recruitment exercise is part of the ongoing transformation of the state’s civil service under Godwin Obaseki’s administration.

“The recruitment is seeking to bring over 1,400 talented professionals into the service at the Junior, Graduate and Experience categories across several disciplines of the service,” he said.

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“The Edo State Civil 2020/2021 Recruitment Campaign will commence Monday, 14th December 2020. This Recruitment exercise is part of the ongoing transformation exercise in the state and one of the pillars of Making Edo Great Again. The recruitment is of major priority to our Governor and in line with his values.”

“The exercise shall be free, fair, and merit-driven. We are an equal opportunity employer and each applicant shall stand the same chance of gaining employment with the State civil service.”

Governor Obaseki had during his second term inauguration promised that one of the major assignments he was going to embark on was a total transformation of the state’s civil and public service.

The governor recently approved the recruitment of professionals into the state’s civil service in line with that vision of repositioning the civil service for optimal performance.

Buhari Followed Due Process In Sacking Maina – Presidency

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The Presidency has said that contrary to some reports President Muhammadu Buhari followed due process in ordering the immediate disengagement of the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, from the civil service.

In reaction to the immediate disengagement of Maina by President Buhari, some opinion leaders had said the sack violated the laws of the Civil Service.

The presidency using the official Twitter Handle, @NGRPresident said these reports are not true and that President Buhari followed due process.

“Reports that due process not followed in disengagement of Mr Abdulrasheed Maina from Service are incorrect.

“The President DIRECTED the appropriate authorities to effect the disengagement, in compliance with due process.

“President Buhari will continue to ensure that due process is followed every step of the way,” it said.

Bill To Tackle Illegal Recruitment In Civil Service Passes Second Reading

Senate Approves Electronic Voting For Elections
File photo

The Senate has passed through Second Reading, a Bill to make it an offense for vacant positions in the Federal Civil Service to be filled without being advertised.

The Bill is intended to curb illegal recruitment into Federal Government Agencies, parastatals and to give all qualified applicants an equal opportunity to secure Federal Government employment.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has referred the Bill to the Committee on Establishment and Public Services and asked the Committee to report back to the Senate plenary in 4 weeks.

Al-Makura Reveals Plan To Employ 2,000 Graduates

 

(File photo) Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura

The Nasarawa State government has said it will begin the employment of 2,000 graduates into its civil service.

Governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, made this announcement during a capacity building training for Nasarawa civil servants.

While declaring the programme opened, the governor said the employment of 2,000 graduates which will be drawn from all local government areas of the state will minimise youth restiveness in the state.

During the training, Nasarawa civil servants across all cadres gathered at the Ta’al conference hall for the capacity training programme, which was organised by the state government in collaboration with the industrial training fund.

Nasarawa state Head of Civil Service, Thomas Ogiri, at the event said the capacity development programme will enhance productivity and effective discharge of duties.

“The programme which is the first phase has its theme ‘Inclusive Governance: Key to Sustainable Development and the Role of Civil Service’ and the government believe it will enhance effective and efficient delivery of service,” he said.

Pensioners Verification Resumes In Bayelsa January 16

Pensioners Verification Resumes In Bayelsa January 16The federal government has revealed that it is set to kick-start the next phase of civil service Pensioners Verification and Biometric exercise in Bayelsa state.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Barr Sharon Ikeazor.

The statement indicated that the verification exercise would take place in Yenagoa to cover pensioners for Bayelsa on January 16, 2017.

PTAD had earlier concluded verification of civil service pensioners from the North-West and South-East zones in the country in 2015.

As a follow up, pensioners in the North East states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states were recently verified between November 28 and December 6, 2016.

“Apart from identifying ghost pensioners and putting a stop to fraudulent payments, the exercise facilitated the restoration of monthly pension payments to genuine pensioners previously removed from the payroll, including those who had never been paid any pension or gratuity.

“A total of 4,438 pensioners who were verified in the North West and South East who were hitherto not receiving their pension were rolled into November, 2016, and their pension and arrears paid.”

The statement indicated that pensioners are expected to come along with the original and photocopies of their relevant retirement credentials for the upcoming exercise as will be published in national dailies and announced on television and radio.

Yobe Government Establishes Fiscal, Public Procurement Boards

Yobe, new boards, chief executivesIn providing support for reform initiatives by public institutions, the Yobe state government has set up the Fiscal responsibility and Bureau of Public Procurement Boards.

Inaugurating the heads and members of the boards in Damaturu the state capital, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam said the Board of Fiscal Responsibility will monitor and enforce the provision of the law, as well as disseminate standard practices that would result in greater efficiency and undertake fiscal and financial studies among others.

The Bureau of Public Procurement on the other hand, “will consider, approve and amend the monetary and prior review threshold, consider and approve policies on public procurement, approve the appointment of the directors of the bureau, as well as approve changes in the procurement process, to adopt in improvement of modern technology.

“The development has earned the state commendation from various national and international organizations, development partners, concerned with financial trends in addition to providing support to reform initiatives by public institutions”

“The two new boards will also institutionalize comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of systems by tracking budget performance, establishing institutional structures, drafting policy framework and building human resource capacity,” the Governor said.

He also revealed that his administration had recorded various achievements in the area of public finance management, citing instances from 1999 to 2008, when the government was able to clear backlogs of its accounts.

Yobe, new boards, chief executivesWith the support of the United Kingdom, Mr Gaidam mentioned that the partnership had helped the state to succeed in the development of medium term sector strategies in many sectors.

He further stated that the partnership had also contributed in the development of medium term expenditure framework as well as medium term fiscal framework, which will enable the Ministry of Budget and Planning to undertake thorough analysis of all capital receipt, with a view to making the annual budget realistic.

With the 2003 bio-metric data capturing exercise carried out in Yobe, the Governor said his administration was able to eliminate the ghost workers in the state’s payroll.

Mr Gaidam urged members of the boards to build on existing structures that would ensure the achievement of objectives, while expressing optimism that with the caliber of the personalities that made up the boards, they would succeed.

The inauguration also witnessed the swearing-in of six new permanent secretaries assigned to different ministries in the state civil service.

Kogi Recovers Over One Billion Naira From Ghost Workers

Kogi, Yahaya Bello, Ghost Workers, Corruption
The governor says the exercise will save the state billions of naira

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has disclosed that the state has uncovered over one billion naira going to ghost workers through the ongoing civil service screening exercise.

Governor Bello disclosed this while receiving the religious leaders, council of Ulamahs and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who paid him a courtesy visit at the government house.

Mr Bello appealed to the people in the state to be patient with the state government as his administration is determined to sanitize the corrupt system which he said has bedeviled the civil service.

He promised to probe the past administration which he said has brought the state backward.

The Governor listed five cardinal points that will guide his administration in the next three years and promised to bring about change from the previous system.

The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kogi state chapter, Bishop John Ibenu, acknowledged that Yahaya Bello’s emergence as the governor of the state is divinely connected.

The two religious bodies prayed for the Governor to succeed throughout his tenure.

Panel Hands Over Obosi Crisis Report To Governor Obiano

willie obiano, anambra state, improved welfare for workersThe seven-man Administrative Panel of Enquiry set up by Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, to look into last year’s crisis in Obosi Community in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state has submitted its report.

According to the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Chike Nwizu (rtd), the panel carried out its sitting under intense pressure in 28 sittings, as against 17 sittings designated to it aside other private sittings.

He also said that 17 witnesses testified while 268 written evidences were tendered.

The Governor, satisfied with the performance of the Panel, gave them another assignment to look into Abanaga versus Ukpo and Enugwukwu crisis.

The Administrative Panel of Enquiry into Obosi Crisis commenced sitting immediately after the inauguration on October 26, 2015.

They were asked to determine the immediate and remote causes of the dispute, disturbances and discord within the community, determine the parties to the dispute, ascertain the causes of the problem between the Traditional ruler and the President General.

Part of their objective was also to determine the roles and impact of law enforcement and Security Agencies in addressing the issues and to make recommendations to the state government on remedial measures to the crisis.

It was a tensed period for the panel members drawn from the judiciary, civil service, security and the church to ensure credible and effective investigation.

During the 28 days sitting period, witnesses ranging from the traditional ruler of Obosi, to the President General and other prominent sons of Obosi were subjected to thorough grilling by various lawyers and the panel members.

The major issues bringing discord in the community are land disputes, contention in the traditional stool of Obosi kingdom and other leadership issues.

At the completion of the exercise, the panel came back to the Governor to submit their report which came in three volumes comprising the record of the proceedings, the number of exhibits tendered, the report and the recommendations of the panel.

The Governor, receiving the report, commended the panel members and expressed hopes that the recommendations would permanently address the crisis in the community.

Governor Obiano again re-commissioned the panel to immediately look into the raging land crisis between Abagana, Ukpo and Enugwukwu communities, having considered them competent.

Erdogan ‘Snatch Squad’ Fugitive Soldiers Captured

Turkey failed Coup, Erdogan, Turkey, SoldiersA source says that Turkish special forces have captured 11 fugitive soldiers involved in the planned seizure of President Tayyip Erdogan during a failed coup attempt in July.

The soldiers were part of a group which launched an attack on a hotel where Erdogan was holidaying on the night of July 15 in the southwestern resort of Marmaris.

Their capture came after Turkey dismissed nearly 1,400 more members of its armed forces and stacked a top military council with government ministers on Sunday in moves to tighten control of the military after the coup.

Reuters said a source disclosed that the fugitives were caught in the Ula district of Mugla province after Gendarmerie special forces, supported by helicopters and drones, were sent to the area after a tip-off from a local.

“A total of 37 soldiers were reportedly involved in the operation to seize Erdogan in Marmaris and 25 of them had been caught earlier,” the source said.

Since the coup attempt, more than 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service and schools have been either detained, suspended or placed under investigation.

Islamic preacher, Fethullah Gulen is accused by Turkey of orchestrating the failed putsch.

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, has denied the charges and condemned the coup.