By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja –
Over 400 serving deputy directors in the Federal Civil Service have petitioned the Presidency over their stagnated status in the service since 2011.
The aggrieved officials under the aegis of Concerned Deputy Directors, (Administration) said by now they ought to be directors in line with extant civil service rules.
They stated this in separate petitions dated 2nd February, 2017 and 19th May, 2017 addressed to the Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC); Acting President Yemi Osinbajo; House of Representatives’ Committeee on Public Service Matters; Chairman Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service and Secretary, Council of Retired Federal Permanent Secretaries (CORFEPS).
According to the letter, made available to newsmen in Abuja, the deputy directors were promoted last in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and have matured to be considered for promotion to the post of directors (Administration) in years 2015, 2016 and 2017.
They noted that they have not been given the opportunity to sit for the examination as a result of a lingering crisis and are therefore constrained to invite the National Assembly for quick intervention.
The affected public servants who denied knowledge of the litigation filed by six petitioners who dragged the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and Federal Civil Service Commission before the National Industrial Court, Abuja, noted that “most of the aggrieved officers have retired from the Federal Civil Service.”
“You may wish to note further that Court graciously gave the contending parties the opportunity for an out-of-court settlement. Unfortunately three years after, the parties are yet to arrive at an amicable resolution.
“We are fully persuaded that this Court order can be genuinely and appropriately utilized if the parties in the litigation adopt ‘a win-win’ approach to resolve the impasse. Notwithstanding the fact that, most of the aggrieved offivers have retired from the Federal Civil Service, a reliance on precedence can be adopted to promote those who have merit amongst them.
“We are compelled to bring to the fore the three critical and negative effects that the inability of the administrative cadre to write examinations has brought to bear on the officers and to plead on means of resolving the issue in the public interest.
“These are: the continued suspension of the promotion examination for Administrative Officers on SGL16 to SGL17 for the third time consecutively based on the Court Order to settle out-of-Court has unwittingly collapsed the Administrative Cadre in the Federal Civil Service.
“It is our conviction that this will definitely amount to travesty of justice for those of us who were abi-nitio not involved in the ongoing litigation to continue to suffer denials of not being availed the opportunity to sit for the competitve promotion examination as and when due (2025, 2016, 2017 and only God knows when the case would be determined).
“The continued delay and frustration in allowing officers in the Administrative Cadre to rise to SGL 17 as prescribed in the schemes of service and others, adversely affect the growth and due contributions to nation building. Where this lingers beyond year 2017 which to us is already too long, and no doubt send wrong signals to the observing public and will degenerate to Service inability to attract and retain Nigerians who opt to pursue career in Federal Civil Service will sincerely choose the Civil Service as a career to come in at the entry point.
“It is our passionate plea that the Federal Civil Service Commission should urgently consider the plight of officers in the Cadre who have been and are still being stagnated since 2015 to expeditiously seek means of resolving the matter amicably in the interest of the public.
“In the light of the foregoing, we humbly appeal for the extension of the scheduled promotion examination should this matter in Court not be resolved early,” the petitioners urged.
In a related development, the Group also prayed the NIC to “vacate its provisiinal order because equity is not on the side of the indolent. In the circumstance, the Court advised the aggrieved party in the litigation to settle out of court to which they were adamant.
“We had thought that all these moves would serve the dual purpose of saving our careers and the future of the entire Federal Civil Service. By so doing and devoid of any other known line of action, have exhausted all the avenues for resolving the matter,” the petitioners observed.
Speaking on the development, the deputy director of press, of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr Joel Oruche, who confirmed the development, said that the matter was before a court of competent jurisdiction and as such he could not comment on it until he sought for clarification.
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