By Chris Ochayi
A Civil Society Organization, CSO, New Era for Sustainable Leadership Initiative, NESLI, has alleged that the selection processes for the appointment of permanent secretaries in the federal civil service were laden with fraud and corruption.
The Executive Director of the initiative, Comrade Edwin Olorunfemi, who made the allegations, while addressing newsmen in Abuja, also said that the examination process is also enmeshed in all sort of malpractices, as monies were allegedly said to have usually exchanged hands.
Comrade Olorunfemi argued that unless the process is reviewed with a view to enthroning merit, productivity and proper policy execution will continue suffer.
According to him ” Findings also revealed that the selection examinations processes in time past were laden with fraud, corruption and also enmeshed in all sort of malpractices, as monies were alleged to have usually changed hands between the examiners and the desperate candidates in order to boost their scores believing that they stand a better chance with higher scores”.
‘:A few weeks ago candidates were asked to submit Curriculum Vitae , a situation which has prompted many running to banks for loans which will invariably put them under pressure for repayment there by leading to corruption which the current administration out rightly frowns at from the beginning of its emergence into office”.
He added that at a time like this when government is considering cutting down cost of governance, and lots of money is required for the conduct of examinations, wisdom dictates that we jettison the idea of conducting examinations.
He suggested that instea a committee should be set up which will invite prospective candidates for a one on one interactive session where their antecedence will be properly scrutinised and merit given to those who deserves it.
“Let us also consider outstanding performance in previous engagements or special assignment and competence as demonstrated by the president in the appointment of Permanent Secretaries in 2015 where some of them were non-career civil servants but yet appointed based on merit, an action which was applauded by many Nigerians. “
However, he said that in as much as the group is advocating for a review of the selection process, competence remains very important, adding that appointment of non-career civil servants as Permanent Secretaries should be discouraged.
He said that appointing non career civil servants permanent secretaries will dampen the morale of the civil servants that has grown through the ranks and put in most active parts of their lives in the service.
“This will invariably deprive them of getting to the peak of their career which also could invariably lead to inefficiency and dereliction of duty in the civil service. For the position of Permanent Secretary, a candidate must have been in the civil service for at least 25-30 years; hence in the light of the above mentioned; our prayers are as follow.”