By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor & Favour Nnabugwu
ABUJA—There is unease in the Federal Civil Service over the non-promotion of qualified directors, who have been stagnant on their current posts for many years.
The affected directors, who were due for promotion, according to findings by Vanguard, have been forced to remain on their current positions and are losing hundreds of millions of Naira that should have accrued to them if they had been promoted as at when due.
According to some of the directors, who were due for promotion since 2013, they might be forced to take their case to President Muhammadu Buhari, if the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, does not act swiftly to save them from further stagnation and deprivation arising from their non-elevation.
Most of the affected top civil servants were due for promotion from Assistant to Deputy Directors and from Deputy to Directors since 2012.
Most disappointing to the affected bureaucrats is the fact that many of them do not have many years to spend in the civil service either on account of age or years of service to the nation.
One of the men, who took promotion examination to be promoted from Assistant to Deputy Director in one of the federal ministries, told Vanguard that he was disappointed, having passed the qualifying examination last year only to be told that there was no vacancy for him to be promoted to the next level.
Findings by Vanguard showed that the stagnation in the nation’s civil service stems from the suspension of the tenured policy by the Buhari administration, an innovation that was put in place by the previous administration to create room for more qualified public servants to grow and reach the apex of their careers before retiring.
Under the tenured policy, all directors who have served up to eight years on one post are to give way for new ones.
The arrangement created new openings for the prompt retirement of civil servants and created room for the promotion of others with ease.
However, for reasons yet to be made public, the Buhari administration on assumption of office suspended the policy and invariably returned to the old practice in which directors can serve for as many years as they can as long as they can ‘prove’ that they have not reached the retirement age of 60 or 35 years in service.
But the Director of Communication in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Haruna Imrana, defended the action of the government, saying that decision to drop the policy was contained in a circular to all ministries, departments and agencies, signed by the HOCSOF, Winifred Oyo-Ita.
The policy, introduced by a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye, under the late President Umaru Yar’Adua administration, prescribed two terms of four years each for permanent secretaries of ministries, while directors were entitled to an eight-year tenure.
The policy also affected top level officers in federal ministries, departments and agencies.
The circular, which conveyed the president’s directive on the suspension, said the order took immediate effect, while all concerned were urged to comply accordingly.
He said the implication was that civil servants could now stay in service until they were 35 years in service or they turn 60.