Buhari swears in new perm secs, warns civil servants against indiscipline, corruption,

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with the newly sworn in permanent secretaries at the State House, Abuja on Thursday PHOTO: Philip Ojisua
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday sworn in 16 of the 18 permanent secretaries of the federal civil service recently appointed with a warning that acts capable of derailing the attainment of the current administration’s change agenda would be viewed with all seriousness and dealt with accordingly.
Restating the need for the permanent secretaries as tools for the implementation of government’s policies, the President noted that the administration believed that the role of civil servants in that regard was paramount, and warned that if they misadvised their the ministers, it would be difficult to realise the government objective.
Buhari explained that present administration, conscious of the high expectations of Nigerians in terms of integrity chose to jettison the previous written and oral methods of selecting permanent secretaries and instead resorted to rigorous processes, which among others, included, but not limited to integrity, personal and official conducts.
His words, “As you are aware, the responsibilities bestowed on you are so enormous that the success or otherwise of the Government would largely depend on your competence, ability and capacity to discharge your duties most effectively and efficiently.
“This at a time when the nation’s economy and revenue base are very low will task the capability and capacity of any Government. This is why you have been chosen and you should all regard your appointments as an emergency call to duty.
“In keeping with the change mantra of this Administration the process for your selection as Permanent Secretaries was a departure from the previous practice of administering written and oral examinations. Instead, a more rigorous selection process, entailing vigorous screening of candidates’ past records, potential and capacity for holding the office, integrity, honesty and sense of commitment was adopted.
“I believe this new selection technique will have, hopefully brought up to light some of the best, dedicated, patriotic and hardworking Civil Servants to hold this position of trust. It is my hope that your subsequent conduct and performance will not prove this Administration wrong.
“I must, however, sound a note of warning. It is within public domain that Ministers as Chief Executives of their Ministries as well as other Government officials involved in policy formulation and implementation often complain of the intolerable levels of incompetence, indifference or even suspected sabotage by some of the top echelon of the Civil Service.
“Even where Permanent Secretaries, in some instances, are exempted from these accusations, they are still responsible and liable for failing to provide the required leadership, control and direction.
“This Administration will not condone any excesses, indifference, incompetence, and corrupt practices in any form. Permanent Secretaries are therefore advised to note these words of caution and disseminate them to all Civil Servants accordingly.”

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