Labour, others kick over Dickson’s extention of HoS tenure

Gov. Seriake Dickson

Gov. Seriake Dickson

The decision of the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, to extend the appointment of the state’s retired Head of Service (HoS), Dr. Peter Singabele, by six months, is causing ripples in the state.

While it was gathered that the governor’s action was breeding bad blood among the permanent secretaries and other senior civil servants, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has kicked against the decision saying it violates the civil service rules.

Labour in a statement called on Dickson to with immediate effect appoint a new HoS to fill the exalted vacant position.
The state NLC Chairman, Ndiomu Bipre and his TUC counterpart, Tari Dounana in the statement warned against the politicization of the HoS office in the state.

According to them no Head of Service stays in office beyond the retirement age of 60 or 35 years whichever is applicable.

“The continuous stay of the current Head of Service Doctor Peter Singabele beyond the retirement age of sixty years or thirty five years in service is a source of worry to workers in the state. The Public Service Rules 02081 is very clear about retirement of public servants.

“As a career civil servant, we expect the Head of Service to step aside or refuse any form of tenure elongation in order not to truncate promotion in the civil service.

“The NLC and the TUC call on the Civil Service Commission to properly guide government on the appointment of the Head of Service as stipulated in the Public Service Rule to strengthen and motivate the workforce”, they said.

But a statement sent through the office of Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson said the extension was in exercise of the governor’s executive powers.

The statement quoted the Secretary to the state Government, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff as saying that the extension was informed by the numerous important ongoing service-related issues being handled by Singabele.

It said allowing the retried Singabele “to leave the service now” could be detrimental to the administration’s programme of repositioning the civil service for greater efficiency.

The governor in the state also extended the appointment of Joseph Akedesuo as a Permanent Secretary and Head of State Protocol services for a period of one year.

Also reacting to the development, a group under the auspices of Bayelsa First Initiative (BFI) said there was no basis for Dickson to extend the appointment of Singabele.

The Director-General, BFI, Chief Nathan Egba, accused the governor of manipulating government’s institutions and policies to advance his personal interests.

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