Labour flays abolition of tenure for perm secs, directors
Senior civil servant under the aegis of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), have expressed dismay over the abolishment of the tenure policy for Permanent Secretaries and directors in public service.
Specifically, the union urged government to halt the plan and summon a stakeholders meeting to discuss the issue.
In a press statement signed by its National President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, ASCSN opined that, if the persistent policy somersaults, by the present government is not put in check, they were likely to destroy the cherished norms in the public service.
It alleged that few months ago, the federal government for inexplicable reasons, elected to recruit non-serving officers as permanent secretaries some of whom were above 60 years of age in flagrant violation of the Public Service Rules (PSR).
“This is in a situation where there are highly skilled, educated, and knowledgeable civil servants who should have been elevated to these exalted positions.
“All appeals by this union to the government to reverse the appointments and promote senior civil servants who have served the nation meritoriously for decades to the posts of permanent secretaries were treated with contempt,” the union said.
Alleging irregularities in the administration of affairs in the civil service, ASCSN wondered if by this abolition of tenure, all permanent secretaries and directors who were supposed to retire now have had their tenure extended?
Besides, It alleged that, a permanent secretary at the federal ministry of Petroleum Resource, Mrs. Jamila Shu’ara ,who retired on February 17, 2016 had her service extended to February 2017 while other Permanent Secretaries exited.
“What all this boils down to is the continuation of the culture of impunity that characterized the last federal administration. Or how can you run a system where rules are breached without qualms,” it said.
According to the ASCSN, though it had sent series of letters to the presidency after this administration came into power intimating it about the outstanding salaries, promotion arrears, 1st 28 days in lieu of hotel accommodation, duty tour allowances; etc owed public servants, but it noted that no action has ben taken till date.
Explaining further, it said though the federal government went through the motion of setting up a Labour/Government Panel to collate the outstanding indebtedness, no payment had been made to public servants affected more than eight months after the Committee submitted its Report.
“What is more worrisome about all this is the perception that government can do anything it likes without consulting the stakeholders. This is wrong in a democracy where all views and perspectives on major government policies should be subjected to vigorous intellectual discussion before pronouncement and implementation.
“This is why the government should start now to engage workers representatives and other stakeholders in various sectors of the economy before implementing any policy that affects the Nigerian people. After all, we are supposed to be running a democracy where constructive dialogue is central to policy formulation and implementation,” the union said.