By Victor Young
ABUJA—Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, has taken up arms against Federal Government over irregular appointments and elongation of the tenure of Permanent Secretaries and Directors in the civil service.
In a valedictory speech at ASCSN’s 4th quadrennial delegates’ conference, outgoing President of the association, Bobboi Kiagama, among others, noted that “it is disheartening to note that over the years, there has been an upsurge in irregular appointments in the Federal Public Service.
“You will recall that recruitment in the Service has always been guided by the Public Service Rules (PSR) 020201-020412. Specific guidelines to be followed are documented and it is not made open-ended.
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“Unfortunately, we are still having cases of irregular appointments/recruitments into the Federal Public Service, including indiscriminate transfers of persons from the state public services and private sector into the Federal Service without due regard for qualifications, years of experience and hierarchy.
“It is so bad that some officers who are appointed to these positions without the requisite qualifications are placed over and above their seniors. This has adversely demoralised the officers that have been compelled to report to their juniors in school and it has impacted negatively on productivity.
“We demand that all appointments/recruitments into the Federal Public Service should be done in line with the Scheme of Service, Federal Civil Service Commission Guidelines on Appointment, Promotion and Discipline, Public Service Rules and Establishment Circulars.
“This will guarantee equity, fairness and justice as well as restore sanity in the system.”
Continuing, Kiagama recalled that “in 2009, the Federal Government introduced tenure policy for permanent secretaries and directors.
“The government approved a two-term of four years for permanent secretaries and single eight-year tenure for directors in the federal public service.
“The rationale behind the policy was to look for ways to address the age-profile imbalance in the civil service, which had created an unusual situation where deputy directors and assistant directors were retiring ahead of their directors and permanent secretaries some of whom were smuggled into the service at younger ages.
“This is because such distortion of recognised standard profiles of age versus grade levels not only makes a mockery of training, deployment and other resources management processes, but portends grave consequences for the future of the civil service.”