The Niger State Civil Service Commission (CSC) has said that the recent mass sack of 726 civil servants of the state, did not emanate from the commission.
The permanent commissioner, Adams Erena, while speaking at the State House of Assembly before the Ad-hoc Committee on salary irregularities in the state, said the list circulating on social media purported to have originated from the commission was doubtful, and wondered who approved the dismissal list.
He said they also saw the list of dismissed staff on the social media, just like any other person adding that, up till the last minute they were in the office, no issue of staff dismissal was brought to their table.
He explained that matters of such magnitude were not handled by individuals, but the commission, which comprises all the five members including the chairman. He disclosed that the commission has never sat on the dismissal of any civil servant, adding that staff dismissed were seven out of the 83 recommended by Panti Salary Management Committee, whose case was treated within the purview of due process.
The permanent commissioner said it was an aberration of the civil service rules and privileges of civil servants for anyone to sit somewhere and dish out list of civil servants, and said they were dismissed without going through the civil service commission.
He said “Till the time we left office, to the last minute that our tenure expired, we have not sat as a commission to treat any matter such as the mass dismissal of civil servants, and we have not directed the permanent secretary to do anything resembling that.
“The civil service commission by law is empowered to employ, promote, discipline including dismissing civil servants. And no authority has the power to do that except the commission and we didn’t do that to the best of my knowledge “ he explained further.
He told the House Committee that their tenure as commission members had expired on July 27, and the purported list of those dismissed was issued on 30th July, wondering how this could happen.
He said the civil service was an organised institution with laid down rules and regulations, pointing out that he will be right to say due process was not followed in the case of the affected officers.
The chairman of the ad-hoc committee and member representing Bosso Constituency, Hon Malik Madaki Bosso, said it will be an abuse of power to sack civil servants without following laid down rules and regulations.
He disclosed that the permanent secretary of the Commission confessed that during her appearance before the committee that the order for the sack of the affected officers was an executive order from above.
He maintained that there should be nothing like executive order on matters that were clearly spelt out by laws and regulations, pointing out that if this act was allowed, then impunity will reign. He further lamented, “Somebody will just wake up one day and just sack the entire civil servants of the state, as if we are in a military era.”
He said his committee has taken note of the submissions and will report to the House when it finishes its assignment. It will be recalled that the governor has submitted the names of the chairman and the commissioners of CSC for another term of five years.