Dickson Commits To Professionalism In Bayelsa Public Service

Public Service, Beyelsa, Seriake DicksonBayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, says his administration is committed to professionalising the state’s public service.

Governor Dickson noted that his government would enshrine the tenets of utmost professionalism and dedication to the ideals of the Public Service Rule in the workforce of the state.

He made the remark at the inauguration of the Bayelsa State Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr Thomas Zidafamor, whose predecessor, Dr. Peter Singabele, had retired from the workforce.

The Governor said that his administration has recorded a number of feats in depoliticising the civil service of the state, as well as protecting a culture which promotes a clear change of baton in the leadership of the civil service.

He tasked Mr Zidafamor to create policies that would lead to an efficient and depoliticised workforce in the south-south Nigerian state.

Governor Dickson reiterated that his administration’s drive for professionalism would not be compromised.

He also assured the people of Bayelsa State of his commitment to the prompt payment of the full salaries of every civil servant in the state.

Imo Govt. To Concession Non-Productive Parastatals

imoThe Imo State Government has concluded plans to concession the management of some parastatals in the state that has been perceived dormant and non-productive for a long period of time.

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, disclosed this at a meeting with Labour Union heads and workers of parastatals in the state, at the Sam Mbakwe expanded Executive Chambers at the Government House in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

The Governor said that the move is to ensure that some parastatals are more viable and productive, so as to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the state and also cut down on government spending.

However, this decision by the state government did not go down well with Union and workers in the state which made the over four hours meeting end in a deadlock, as they insisted on payment of arrears before considering concession.

Meanwhile, some stakeholders in government have also appealed to the Union and workers in the state to support the decision of the government which is aimed at increasing productivity in government, and also enhance growth and development of the public service.

Ogun State Government Refute Plans To Sack Workers

ogunThe Ogun State Government has refuted the allegations by the Presidential Campaign Organisation (PCO) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that it was planning to reduce the size of its work force, if Governor Ibikunle Amosun is re-elected next month.

In a press statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the government described the allegations as false.

It further stated that, not only was there any plan to retrench workers, but a fresh recruitment exercise was at an advanced stage.

“We have no reason to reduce the size of the work force because the workers remain an integral part of the successful pursuit of our mission to rebuild Ogun State. Indeed, our assessments have indicated need for additional personnel in key areas. They have contributed to the visible developments in our state.”

“That is why despite the fact that the immediate past government defaulted on its salary wage bill which was about 4billion naira just before the advent of our administration, we have successfully coped with  increase in total public sector wage bill to N6.2 billion a month and we have paid the workers up to date”

“Again, we have not only cleared the backlog of salaries and deductions inherited from the last PDP administration, we have also paid 42 months deductions without any hitch. We now have an arrangement with workers on how to pay the outstanding ones and that was one of the agreements we reached with the workers during our last interactive session with them”, the Government stated.

It was also stated that the present administration in Ogun State is worker friendly, and that is why it has recruited over 20,000 workers into various sections of the public service in the last three and half years.

The government however assured the workers that the Amosun administration will continue to protect their interests by giving them their dues and the size of service that would continue to grow, so that the state can cope with the challenges from its emerging modern economy.

The Government further advised the people to ignore the falsehood being dished out by the opposition party.

Lagos State Swears-In New Permanent Secretaries

The Lagos State Government has promoted eight of its directors to the post of Permanent Secretary, in order to beef up its service delivery and improve efficiency in its civil service.

This brings to 54, the number of Permanent Secretaries administering the State’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The Permanent Secretaries, who were selected out of those that contested for the position are, Engineer Olujimi Hotonu, Mrs Oluwatoyin Adegbuji Onikoyi, Mrs Jokotola Ojosipe- Ogundimu and Mr Michael Dawodu.

The newly appointed Tutors-General are Mrs Florence Ogunfidodo, Mr Yinka Gbemi Olaniyi and Mrs Margaret Solarin as well as Dr Olukayode Oguntimehin who had been appointed since August 2, 2013.

The Governor, Babatunde Fashola, while swearing in the new Permanent Secretaries at the Lagos House, Ikeja, urged them to be of good behaviour to justify the confidence reposed in them.

He explained that the process that led to the appointments has been driven by merit. The process saw examinations written by all directors who were eligible, as well as interviews, both written and oral. He added that among the appointees are Lagos indigenes and non-indigenes, which is “a reinforcement of the belief that if everybody is allowed to compete, all would be well.”

“Interestingly also, it has addressed the issue of gender. We have four women and we have four men. I am sure our women can compete and what we must not do is to close the door of competition on their faces. This process has demonstrated that”, he added.

Governor Fashola also said that the latest appointment has also taken cognizance of infrastructure, with the inclusion of personnel in engineering, public accounting and general administration.

While welcoming the new Permanent Secretaries into leadership responsibilities, the Governor reminded them of the oath that they have taken before man and before God, emphasizing that the people of Lagos would hold them accountable with those oaths especially those parts that say they would put public interest above their own interest.

He also appealed to the family and relatives of the new appointees not to be the source of pressure upon them that may lead them to breach their oath of office.

Earlier, while presenting the new appointees, the Head of Service, Mrs Seyi Williams, thanked the Governor on behalf of the members of the Standing Committee on Appointment of Permanent Secretaries, for his insistence on giving credence to exemplary performance and merit as some of the core criteria for elevation into appointive posts in the Public Service.

In his vote of assurance on behalf of the new Permanent Secretaries, Dr Olukayode Oguntimehin thanked the Governor for the opportunity given to them to serve the State, saying that they would discharge their responsibilities adequately and responsibly.

The event was witnessed by many dignitaries including a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice George Oguntade, members of the body of Permanent Secretaries, families and relatives of the new appointees.

Doctors Without Borders Pulls Out Of Somalia Due To Attacks

The international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) began closing all its humanitarian operations in Somalia on Wednesday because of attacks on its staff, the organization said on Wednesday.

The withdrawal of MSF – also known as Doctors Without Borders – is a blow to the government’s effort to persuade Somalis and foreign donors that security is improving despite a stubborn Islamist insurgency.

Unni Karunakara, MSF’s international president, acknowledged the charity’s departure would cut off hundreds of thousands of Somalis from medical help.

“The closure of our activities is a direct result of extreme attacks on our staff, in an environment where armed groups and civilian leaders increasingly support, tolerate or condone the killing, assaulting and abducting of humanitarian aid workers,” Karunakara told reporters in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

There was no immediate comment from the Somali government, which is struggling to haul the nation out of two decades of conflict and provides few public services such as health and education.

The announcement came about a month after two female Spanish aid workers employed by MSF were freed by their Somali kidnappers after almost two years in captivity.

In early 2012 MSF shut down two major medical centers in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, after two international staff were shot dead by a former colleague in the heart of the government-controlled city.

Fourteen other MSF staff members have been killed since 1991 when civil war erupted in the country.

MSF had always negotiated with armed groups and authorities on all sides and even resorted to hiring armed guards, something it does not do in any other country, Karunakara said, adding: “But we have reached our limit.”