Civil servants urge Buhari to reverse tenure extension of seven perm secs

Muhammadu Buhari (Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP)

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, to reverse the tenure extension for seven permanent secretaries in the federal civil service who are already due for retirement.

The union emphasised the need for the tenure extension to be reversed so that the affected permanent secretaries could exit the service quietly, in order not to trigger other breaches of the public service rules with attendant negative consequences for the federal and states civil service.

The ASCSN, which condemned the extension of tenure granted the permanent secretaries, recalled that in 2016, when the Federal Government extended the tenure of the then Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Jamila Shu’ara, and despite all pressure by the union to the decision reversed, her tenure was again extended in 2017.

Secretary General, ASCSN, Alade Lawal, argued that the illegal extension is already taking a toll on the morale of workers at the directors’ cadre, whose prospects of reaching the peak of their careers have been circumscribed, while deputy directors and other senior officers are equally affected.

He said: “As we speak, the service is bleeding profusely as a result of the injuries sustained from this unwarranted attack on its fabric. A collateral damage has been done to the system, and the only way out is to quickly reverse the extension.

“It is imperative for the government to develop the capacity to adhere to rules not only because we live in a modern world where democratic ideals prevail, but also because it enhances stability in the system.

“It is our hope that Mr President will do the needful by directing the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), to reverse the extension and allow the permanent secretaries retire peacefully. If this is not done, it is likely to dent your esteemed image apart from acting as a bad precedent not only in the federal civil service, but also in the entire 36 states civil services of the federation.”

The labour union, which posited that some other officers billed to retire soon are already warming up to submit extension requests, added that if the practice was not halted immediately, it might create credibility problem for the present administration. Such a scenario can be avoided if the affected permanent secretaries were allowed to retire in line with extant public service rules.

“Moreover, some unpatriotic elements who do not mean well for this country may come up years later when this administration would have left the scene, to cite what is happening now, as a reason to do something untoward, which may in the final analysis do collateral damage to the system and the country as an entity.

“A bad precedent is therefore being laid, and the earlier the illegal extension is reversed, the better for the continued growth, development and stability of the civil service,” the union said.

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