By Favour Nnabugwu & Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – No fewer than 150 Deputy Directors in the Federal Civil Service who sat for promotion examinations to the position of Directors in the past three years failed in their bid to move to the next level.
This was made known by the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, at the second edition of her office’s quarterly meeting with organised labour in Abuja on Wednesday.
Oyo-Ita also disclosed that the issue of promotions for the 2014 batch of Directors in the administration cadre of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) has finally been resolved.
She added that she was impressed by the lifting of the court injunction on the promotion issue of promotion for the administration cadre will enable the civil service administrative positions hitherto filled by officers in acting capacity be filled by substantive Directors.
She said; “I am particularly delighted to inform you that the issue of promotion for the 2014 batch of Directors in the Administration Cadre has been finally resolved. The lifting of the court injunction on this issue also led to the conduct of examinations for 2015 – 2017 batch of Directors in the same cadre.
“Over 290 Deputy Directors sat for the examination out of which only about 140 were successful. I am certain that going forward, the Civil service will ventilate itself and Officers will be rewarded for hard work.
“With this, we now have a solution to the issue of dearth of Directors of Administration in MDAs. Departments which were hitherto manned by officers in acting capacity would now be manned by substantive Directors.”
She also said that efforts were already being made to enhance service delivery, as workers cannot perform optimally if their environment was nothing to write home about.
“The issue of a conducive working environment for staff that has been raised by organised labour is very dear to my heart.
“To achieve this I have set up a committee on office allocation and expansion with a focus on maintenance, rehabilitation and expansion of office allocations to MDAs.
“Similarly, I have also approved the constitution of two committees on the development of a policy framework for Public Service Disaster Prevention and Safety Management’’, Oyo-Ita said.
While expressing her appreciation to the Presidency and the Federal Civil Service Commission for supporting the efforts made towards resolving the knotty issue of promotion of Deputy Directors to the next level, Oyo-Ita enjoined the leaders of organised labour to explore the opportunity presented by the meeting to resolve other burning issues in order to promote industrial harmony.
Also speaking in an interview with journalists, Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Mohammed Kiri, lamented the absence of a robust system of succession in the civil service.
He also harped on the issue of poor working environment as part of the problems affecting workers in the public sector.
“The public service has a crisis of succession, you find out that in a particular office, all the professionals have retired and they are not being replaced.
“This issue is more predominant in the states, where you find only clerks and messengers in an organisation because there has been no employment in the past so the civil service workforce is shrinking.
“And of course the working environment is another mind-boggling issue for us and I have reported this severally.
“You go into the Federal Secretariat; you cannot afford to enter any of the toilets because it is filthy and smelling.
“But am glad the Head of Service has addressed the issue in this meeting on efforts being made to decongest offices and create a good environment for workers,’’ he said.