The Federal Government has detected over 1,500 workers who presented fake letters of employment to its verification committee.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, revealed this at the ‘National Policy Dialogue on Entrenching Transparency in Public Office Recruitment in Nigeria’ organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission in Abuja.
Yemi-Esan said the Federal Government has suspended the salary of 3,000 civil servants who failed to present themselves for verification.
She said the verification exercise is to eradicate fake and illegal recruitment in government agencies.
“Sometimes in March of 2021, this office informed the ICPC that there were quite a number of fake letters of appointments circulating in the ministries,” the civil service chief said.
“At that particular time, we discovered that in just one ministry alone, there were over a thousand individuals bearing fake letters of appointments. And they were already enrolled on the payroll.
“The Office of the Head of Service received another report, this time from the Federal Civil Service Commission itself, forwarding names of over 500 persons in various MDAs that possess fake letters of appointments.”
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has warned civil servants against participating in political activities, saying it runs contrary to the rules governing the service.
Speaking during a meeting with senior civil servants on Tuesday in Ado Ekiti, Fayemi faulted those who abandoned their duties to play politics and vowed that they would face the consequences.
“The politicisation of civil service is something that I believe the civil service public rules actually is very explicit about,” he said. “So it’s a question of enforcement on the part of the leadership of the civil service and public service generally.
“I believe if the Head of Service chooses to deal with that, we would work with that to ensure that she achieves the objectives of maintaining a neutral civil service.”
The governor hinted that his administration would elapse on October 15 and promised to continue working for the benefit of the people till then.
Although he admitted that there cannot be complete neutrality in the civil service, he warned civil servants to desist from politics.
“Nobody is saying don’t be interested in what happens, but the problem I see is that it makes an existing government even more of lame-duck government once civil service switches off,” he said.
“If you are working with someone like me who will work till October 15, 2022, you are going to have problems because I am not a lame-duck and I refuse to be considered a lame-duck governor till I leave this office on October 15.
“Just bear with me, be ready to work. If I hear that you are doing politics behind the scene to the detriment of your work, the implication might not be palatable.”
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
The 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.
In 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.
With 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.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State says his administration will use the principles of fiscal responsibility to curb corruption in the state’s civil service.
The governor stated this on Monday when he received the report from the Fiscal Responsibility Committee he inaugurated in May 2016.
While receiving the report at the Government House in Lokoja, the state capital, Governor Bello said the direction of his administration goes along with absolute transparency, accountability and zero tolerance for corruption in the state public financial system.
The governor promised to implement the recommendations made in the report of the Fiscal Responsibility Committee, adding that his government has the political will to implement all recommendations made by various committees.
The nine man ad-hoc committee on fiscal responsibility was inaugurated by the governor to review certain fiscal policy relating to the implementation of a treasury single account, contributing pension scheme and a productive post autonomy for state internal revenue services.
The chairman of the committee, Professor Stephen Ocheni says the the Fiscal Responsibility Committee was set up to advice the state government on ways to manage its scarce resources, privatize and put to use judiciously the resources of the state.
He added that as a result of certain steps taken, the state government is now saving about N1 billion every monthly.
Professor Ocheni suggested that once the government matches action with words corruption in the state civil service will be reduced significantly.
Preaching Fiscal Discipline
The choice of Professor Ocheni to lead such fiscal responsibility drive in the state has been seen as a strategic move by the state governor.
Mr. Ocheni, who is a Professor of Public Sector Accounting at the Kogi State University, Anyigba, is regarded as one of the foremost advocates of the Treasury Single Account policy.
While presenting a paper at a workshop in January organised by the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and The World Bank in Abuja, Prof. Ocheni argued that the implementation of TSA will help tame the tide of corruption especially in the civil service.
He added that the TSA and other fiscal control mechanisms facilitate better fiscal and monetary policy coordination.