By Tunde Oguntola, Abuja
A non-governmental organismation under the auspices of New Era For Sustainable Leadership and Accountability Initiative (NESLAI) has called for a change in the process of appointment of permanent secretaries in the civil service.
The group alleged that in the recent past, the process was fraught with corruption, outright fraud, and all manner of malpractices.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the executive director of the initiative, Comrade Edwin Olorunfemi, frowned at the appointment of non-career civil servants as permanent secretaries, which he said can dampen the morale of civil servants that have risen through the ranks.
Olorunfemi, however, called on the federal government to jettison the examination process and use appraisal of the civil servants in terms of merits.
According to him, “Findings 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 CVs, a situation which has prompted many running to banks for loans which will invariably put them under pressure for repayment thereby leading to corruption which the current administration outrightly frowns at from the beginning of its emergence in office.”
He said judging that in a time like this when the government was considering cutting down the cost of governance, he said wisdom dictates that the nation jettison the idea of conducting examinations but rather, set up a committee and invite prospective candidates for a one-on-one interactive session where their antecedence will be properly scrutinised and merit given to those who deserve it.
On the appointment of non-career civil servants, he said, “We must not be oblivious of the fact that as much as competence is important and required, appointing non-career civil servants as Permanent Secretaries should be discouraged as it dampens the morale of the civil servants that have grown through the ranks and put in most active parts of their lives in service diligently.”
Olorunfemi said such actions invariably will deprive them of getting to the peak of their career which also could lead to inefficiency and dereliction of duty in the civil service.
According to him, the position of permanent secretary requires a candidate to have been in the civil service for at least 25-30 years.
He also urged the federal government to develop a workable template and mechanism that will see to the emergence of the best hands for the position.
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