By Diran Fashesin
In 1976, when the then Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed, thought that the civil service had become a behemoth, he took drastic actions which eroded the core values of the civil service, especially, diligence, hardwork, commitment to duties, trustworthiness, accountability, transparency and security of tenure. The consequences were that the Civil Service became unstable and attractive to corruption of need, corruption of greed and grand corruption as well as mental slavery. The woes were compounded by the reforms of Prof. Dotun Philips in 1988, under the Military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB). Sanity was slightly restored to the civil service by General Sanni Abacha through the Chief Allison Ayida reforms of 1995. Despite the perceived maladies and inadequacies of the Civil Service, it is statutory and will continue to be relevant in government and governance, in every part of the world.
When Nigerians were eager to see President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, he told them that “Civil Servants were doing the real job, that ministers were just ceremonious and noise- makers”. Since November, 2015, they have justified the assertion. In the words of Senator Abiola Ajimobi “no government can succeed without the support of the Civil Service bureaucracy”. It must be appreciated that the Nigerian civil service is a replica of the British White Hall, because it was inherited from our former Colonial masters. It was designed for a conservative prime ministerial (parliamentary) system of government and for an evasive, fantastically cocooned British monarchy, due to the fear of domination by the highly qualified technocrats who were graduates of Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and allowed to join the elitist British Civil Service.
It is not just happenstance that the period when Nigeria practised the conservative and cost- effective parliamentary system of government, combined with the equally conservative British model Civil Service, has been described as the golden era of good governance. It was the period Chief Obafemi Awolowo laid the foundation for modern governance in the pace-setting Western Region as Premier, with numerous accomplishments in all facets of human endeavours. The feats, even after over 60 years, have remained indelible and reference point globally. This was attested to by Dr. Tunji Olaopa, who remarked “that the Chief Awolowo/Adebo Model of administration in the defunct Western Region of Nigeria is yet to be replicated anywhere in the world”.
In contrast, since 1979, when Nigeria adopted the America-styled Presidential System of government, which thrives on lobby and patronage in Spoils System of government that is expensive, explorative and requires a lot of competences, it has attracted highly qualified and competent professionals into politics and government as against the preponderance of professional politicians, with moderate intellectual capacity in the First Republic. In the face of this dynamism in government and governance, the Nigerian Civil Service is still expected to be anonymous, conservative, neutral, apolitical and impersonal, even with its abundant highly cerebral, skilled and intellectual personnel. It is no doubt, a repository of knowledge, experience, exposure and information.
So, to an average new breed politician, especially since the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1999, the civil service is perceived to be docile, incompetent, ineffective, inefficient and incapable of driving developmental democracy and good governance.
It is therefore, very easy to assume that the civil service is inconsequential and that the resources committed to its maintenance is a colossal loss, that the population is infinitesimal, especially with the global economic depression, national recession and sub-national financial distress. We must also emphasise that the civil servants are the core of the middle class, who buy the goods and services of the businesses and engage the artisans (the masses). So, when they are paid, industries dispose off their goods, keep on business and engage more people to curtail the menace of unemployment. Whereas, it is expected to be apolitical and non-partisan, but in actual fact, it is multi-partisan, because all political parties that have won elections, and formed government at all levels, have always left elements of their tendencies, in the service after the expiration of their respective tenure.
There is no doubt, therefore, that the professional environment of the civil servants is highly politicised and polarised with patronage and lobby, god fatherism, nepotism and favouritism. So, the problem is not in the size or the resources committed to their remunerations, either active or passive; the real problem is the re-alignment of the ethics of the inherited British Civil Service with the American Presidential System of Government. It is a case of the White Hall versus the White House. “We must remember the advice of Abraham Campbell, that “any nation that allows its civil service to falter will fail”.
The challenges of democratic governance in Nigeria are poor leadership and flawed leadership selection process, political instability, poverty, political violence, election rigging, resource allocation, corruption, weak political parties, weak institutions, mediocrity, high cost of governance, policy discontinuity, poor policy formulation and execution, budget indiscipline, delay preparation and late approval of budgets. We must all be advised that the ultimate goal of a viable civil service is to raise the quality of services delivered to the population, support economic and social development, enhance the capacity to carry out core government function i.e revenue generation, financial management, personnel management, policy formulation and implementation. This, to my mind, is the imperative
By Israel Afolabi
The State of Osun House of Assembly has urged the Head of Service in the state to eradicate godfatherism in the state civil service to encourage efficiency.
Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Kamil Oyedele made the charge on Tuesday during the Budget defence exercise at the State Assembly complex, Osogbo.
The parliament urged the Head of Service to design a good work plan on the civil service of Osun to ensure its effectiveness.
Also, the House of Assembly assured workers in the state that their salary arrears would soon be paid as it has been taken care of in the 2018 budget estimates.
They also commended the entire civil servants in the state for their endurance so far since the modulated salary started in the state.
While addressing officials of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Oyedele commended the Ministry for adding values to the entire State of Osun in terms of infrastructural development, saying the present administration under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has it in mind to complete all the projects embarked upon before the end of its tenure
He urged the governor to continue with his legacy of good works in the last seven years in the state.
According to him, “Mr Governor has not let us down because Osun is moving forward under his administration. We can only compare governor Aregbesola administration with that of First Premier of Old Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo”, he added.
Commissioner for Works and Transport Engr Kazeem Salami also affirmed that the present administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola will complete all the road projects embark upon across the state.
He said that work have reached reasonable stages at Gbongan/Akoda road, Oba Adesoji Aderemi Bypass and Old Garage/Kwara State boundary road projects.
He said “this government’s hope is to touch all the nine federal constituencies in the state”.
Meanwhile, some of the Ministries and Agencies of government that have appeared to defend their budget estimation at the State House of Assembly for the day include; Ministry of Works and Transport which defended the sum of N15,917,590,500,00 allotted to it; Office of the Governor, N22,208,493,523,13; Ministry of Health; N1,388,482,590,00; Hospitals Management Board, N26,730,416,020,00 and State Primary Health Care Development Board N2,701,669,110,00.
Others are Ministry of Home Affairs with budget estimate of N343,188,300,00; Osun Tourism Board, N254,291,430,00; Office of culture and Tourism, N101,712,520,00; State Council for Arts and Culture, N59,490,992,00; while Osun State University (UNIOSUN) defended its budget estimates of N5,068,131,460,00
Osun Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade will on Friday, 8th December, 2017 address press on the programmes lined up to celebrate the State Workforce for its contributions to the successes recorded by the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
A statement issued by the Secretary of the Committee for the 7th Anniversary and End of the Year Celebrations for All Public Servants in the State, Mr. Abimbola Oso stated that the briefing will hold in the office of the Head of Service at 10.00am.
The statement added that a special Jumat Service will also hold at the Public Service Central Mosque, Government Secretariat, Abere at 1.30pm.
The release then enjoined all public servants, particularly the Moslem faithful to attend the service as a matter of duty.
As part of efforts to ensure efficiency and productivity in the State Civil Service, the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade recorded another first with his initiative to reward some categories of workers and Agencies that performed creditably well in the on-going Osun Education drive scheme.
The awardees include the Coordinating Director, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mrs Femi Webster-Esho, for outstanding performance in creating awareness and support for the Education scheme, the Director-General OSBC, Mr. Wale Idowu for efficient publicity and the Tutor-General, Osun Central Education District office, Mr. Bunmi Obisesan for his commitment to the success of the programme.
Other awardees are the Principals of Oke-Iragbiji High School, Mr. Abioye Lawson, Adventist Government High School, Elder Dahunsi Osundina and Mr. Adewale Olatoye, Community Middle/ High School, Ila-Odo for their exemplary leadership.
Three Schools namely Iba Community Middle/ High School, Ibokun High School and Community Middle/ High School, Telemu were also awarded for excellent performance in Environmental Sanitation and School Management.
The best supportive community in Delivery of Functional Education award went to Imesi-Ile in Obokun Local Government. Engr. Benjamin Olamijulo, an indigene and ex-student of Imesi-Ile High School was recognised for providing ccommodation to students and teachers while Engr. Shebanjo, a former head boy who despite his challenge donates books to the school every year.
Speaking at the event which took place at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Local Government, the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade said the exercise which is on-going, is to boost the morale of key players and encourage others to emulate the good works with a view to raising the educational standard of the State.
In a similar development, the Environmental Sanitation Committee comprising of Mr. Dayo Laluwoye, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Mr. Kelani Adesina and Mr. Adeolu Oyebayo adjudged the State of Osun Water Corporation as the neatest for the week with the Local Government Service Commission and the Local Government Pension Board, coming second and third respectively.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Dayo Laluwoye said most MDAs participated effectively in the exercise and appreciated the level of compliance and improvement over what was seen last week.
The General-Manager of State of Osun Water Corporation, Mr. Gbenga Owojuyigbe collected the trophy and Ten Thousand Naira cash donation on behalf of his Agency.
To boost morale and productivity of workers in the State of Osun, the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade has unveiled a weekly award project that will target high performing staff in all agencies of government.
The criteria to be used are timeliness, punctuality, neatness, efficiency and integrity.
Also, according to Dr Oyebade, at the end of the month, a worker would be picked, while the overall best worker of the year will be presented an award by the Governor of the State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
Similarly, concerning the project for the Neatest Ministry or agency for this week, the Ministry of Environment was adjudged the neatest Ministry for the second consecutive week.
To encourage wide spread emulation, a cash donation of #10,000 was given to the winning agency and another to second place winners, the Civil Service Commission.
The Committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Local Government Service Commission, Mr. Dayo Laluwoye with other members namely Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Mr. Kelani Adesina and Mr. Oyebayo stated that, most agencies of government that did not do well last week recorded remarkable improvement this week.
Worthy of mention is the office of the Accountant-General which came from the rear last week to make the top five this week.
A Director, Mr Edward Soje has allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree in Lokoja, the state capital.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered on Saturday in Lokoja that the dangling body of Soje was found on a tree behind the mammy market at the Maigumeri barracks, the Nigeria Army Command Record.
The 54-year-old civil servant decided to take his life barely 10 days after his wife of 17 years gave birth to a set of male triplets in a private hospital in Abuja. The couple had been childless before then.
Soje, a Grade Level 16 Officer in the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission, was being owed 11 months’ salary arrears as at the time he took his life.
He hailed from Ogori town in Ogori -Magongo Local Government area of the state.
He had before killing himself travelled to Abuja and left a suicide note for the wife who also works in one of the federal ministries.
“Psalm 121:3 God will not suffer your foot to be moved: He that keepeth you will not slumber. Amen. You and the three boys, the God Almighty will keep you and prosper you, amen. I love you,” according to the suicide note.
Confirming the incident, the state police command Public Relations Officer, ASP William Aya said that the dangling body of Soje was found on a tree behind the barracks at about 5:55 p.m on Oct. 16.
Aya said that the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Area D Division received information about the incident from the military intelligence office in the barracks.
“Police moved to the scene, removed the corpse to the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja. Investigation is still ongoing,” Aya said.
The police spokesman said that nothing was found on the man to help trace his address and family.
However, a search party organised by his relations and friends, found his corpse at the morgue of the hospital on Friday, Oct. 20.
Family sources said that Soje had before the incident been going through a lot of financial pressure due to non-payment of his salary for 11 months by the Kogi State Government.
He was among thousands of civil servants being owed between two and 21 months’ salary arrears by the state government.
As a way out, he was said to have sold his only car and a three-bedroom bungalow he was building at Otokiti area of Lokoja.
The building which was at lintel level was sold by Soje at a giveaway price of N1.5 million in April to meet urgent family needs, it was gathered.
According to the sources, Soje’s financial woes became compounded when the wife gave birth to a set of triplets through Caesarian operation in a private hospital in Abuja on Oct. 7.
The deceased remained in the hospital to look after wife and children until Oct. 13, a day before the naming ceremony when he decided to come back to Lokoja.
On getting to Lokoja, Soje went straight to his bank to collect the remaining N30,000 in his salary account with one of the commercial banks and thereafter informed the bank in writing about his decision to close the account.
He immediately left Lokoja for the hospital in Abuja where he rejoined his wife and handed over the N30,000 cash to her.
On Oct. 14, Soje and wife were joined by two pastors and few relatives to perform a brief naming ceremony for the triplets in the hospital.
He later left the hospital on the pretext that he wanted to pick few things from the wife’s apartment in Abuja with a promise to come back quickly.
But Soje did not return for hours and did not pick any of the many calls made to his telephone line, a development which forced the wife to send somebody to the house to go and ascertain what was happening to him.
The person, on getting to the apartment knocked the door severally but no response and decided to call his telephone number.
On hearing the telephone ringing out from the apartment, the person was said to have knocked severally again but no response, this made him to seek the assistance of neighbours to force the door open.
When the door was opened, the people were shocked when they saw Soje’s telephone handset placed on a suicide note on the centre table in the sitting room while he was nowhere to be found.
When the wife was informed, she quickly contacted some people to begin a search for him in Abuja while relations and friends in Lokoja were also informed of the development.
Efforts made to locate him did not yield fruit until relations decided to visit hospitals in Lokoja, the decision paid off eventually on Friday, October 20 when the corpse of Soje was found in the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.
A member of the family said that the management of the hospital explained to them that Soje’s corpse was brought in by the police, who found it dangling on a tree.
A member of the family, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the late Soje as a “very quiet and lovable human being. “
He said that some members of the family have been sent to Abuja to break the news to the wife and refused to answer further questions.
The need to shape up and re engineer civil service, public services and informal sector with motivation and innovations has become imperative according to the Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Goke Butika, Speaker Salaam asserted that it is high time a radical departure was made from the “kill potentials” bureaucracy in the civil service, while the public service should be made proactive to respond to the challenges of the 21st century which are predicated on technology and science.
Speaker Salaam reiterated that civilian authorities in the state and local government councils should not be seen as rivals or opposition but partners in progress, saying that mutual trust and seamless synergy between the technocrats and both elected and appointed officials would ensure quality deliverable for the benefits of the people.
Speaker Salaam also felicitates and identifies with Osun workers, saying: “On behalf of the members of State of Osun House of Assembly, we are with the workers in our state, and we seek improved package for them as economic indices nose up.
He also called for coordinated intervention in informal sector, pledging that the standing Committee on Commerce and Industry of the House would be saddled with a task to finding the suitable ways that could be recommended for executive action.
Interviews for recruitment into the Federal Civil Service will begin on 27 March in Abuja. They will end on 3 April.
A director of the Federal Civil Service Commission Mustapha L. Sulaiman, acting for the chairman announced this in Abuja.
He said candidates already shortlisted under Batch A of the recruitment programme last year are expected to cross-check their names on the portal of the commission, using their state of origin.
Shotlisted candidates are from the 36 states and Abuja. The interviews will hold at the Public Service Institute on Murtala Mohammed Express Way, Kubwa, Abuja.
The recruiting ministries are those of education, Labour & Productivity, Finance, Foreign Affairs., Information and Culture, Power, Works and Housing and Science and Technology. Others are Transport, Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation, Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation.
and the Bureau of Public Procurement.
All candidates have been warned not to fall prey to scammers.
(*Please follow this link to check your name: https://vacancy.fedcivilservice.gov.ng/)
The Commission warned them not to release their bank account numbers, credit or debit card numbers or any other banking details to anyone.
“No employer has asked for this information”, the commission said.
However the commission asked candidates for the interviews to come along with their means of Identification, which could be a Driver’s License, National ID card or International Passport. They will also be required to submit two passport photographs.
Candidates are also expected to come along with Originals of their Credentials and two photocopies of each duly endorsed by them.
Here is the timetable for the interviews:
* Monday, 27th March 2017 – 9 AM – Federal Ministry of Education
* Tuesday, 28th March 2017 – 9 AM – Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment, Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment
* Wednesday, 29th March 2017 – 9 AM – Federal Ministry of Information, Federal Ministry of Finance, Bureau of Public Procurement
*Thursday, 30th March 2017 – 9 AM – Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing, Federal Ministry of Science & Technology, Federal Ministry of Transport
* Friday, 31st March 2017 – 9 AM – Office of the Auditor General For the Federation, Office of Surveyor General of the Federation
*. Monday, 3rd April 2017 – 9 AM – Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Mrs Adebimpe Ogunlumade has charged stakeholders and participants at a 2-day workshop on validation of the State of Osun Public Financial Management Bill to put the interest of the State at heart.
Mrs Ogunlumade made this charge while declaring open a workshop organised by the Ministry in collaboration with State and Local Governance Reform Project (SLOGOR) at Osogbo.
The Permanent Secretary explained that, the development of the bill follows the best global practices and concerted efforts at ensuring that, the State of Osun joins the comity of States in Nigeria by taking the lead in passing the Public Financial Management Bill.
She further assured that, the Bill is all encompassing and that is why the Ministry with the support of EU – WB assisted State and Local Governance Reform Project (SLOGOR) organise the workshop to capture additional inputs that will enrich every content and provision of the Bill.
Mrs Ogunlumade therefore enjoined the participants to make useful contributions most importantly in terms of quality, technical and professional inputs. This she said, will make the State to continue to be relevant, fiscally compliant and absolutely support globally recognised Public Financial Management reform activities.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Project Coordinator of SLOGOR, Mr. Yemi Ijidele had thanked the participants and urged them to make meaningful contributions that will ensure the objectives of the programme, that, to improve quality, transparency and accountability of the State Government.
Highlights of the event were the review of the bill and technical discussion. Present were the Accountant General, Mr. A. A Kolawole , Permanent Secretaries from the Ministries of Women, Children and Social Affairs, Local Government Service Commission and the Local Government Pension Board, Directors and Accountants of invited Ministries, Departments and Agencies.