Confidential Secretaries Up In Arms With Army Authority
DISQUIET is brewing in the Nigerian Army over the decision by the military to slash the emoluments of qualified Confidential Secretaries (CS), who have not been deployed as Personal Assistant or have not obtained the Staff Duty (SD) qualification.
The affected CS were those formally deployed to North East, but yet to be redeployed. They are now calling on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen T. Y Burutai to review the decision, which they said will have adversely affected their jobs and families.
According to a Warrant Officer 1, “if this is not reviewed, it will amount to the disruption of the professionalism in an important arm of the Army. It is a grave act of injustice on several well trained and qualified Confidential Secretaries and it will not benefit the military establishment.”
It was gathered that the Army had indicated that all Confidential Secretaries without SD A1 qualification “by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014 would be de-mustered. “
The Army had in February this year, set up a verification review committee led by A.B Abubakar, a Major General, to look into the Confidential Secretaries in its fold and make recommendations.
The Committee, in its report submitted in April this year, discovered among others that the Army spends over one billion naira annually on allowances for Confidential Secretaries. It added that of the 669 qualified Confidential Secretaries, 133 were deployed as Personal Assistants, while 536 have not been deployed. The report further stated that of the figure, only 175 possessed the SD1 qualification, while 494 were without the SD1 requirement
The report noted: “The Confidential Secretaries (CS) allowance is an import from the Civil service, which was not properly factored into the payment structure of the Nigeria Army, considering the hierarchical nature of the Nigeria Army and Professional competence of the rank and file.