Reps kick against abolition of tenure policy for perm secs, directors
House, U.S. disagree over claims of religious intolerance in Nigeria
Some members of the House of Representatives have condemned the abolition of tenure policy for permanent secretaries and directors in the federal civil service.
They said that if the policy is not reversed, workers in these categories might spend 10 years or more in office, depriving workers down the line from succeeding them before their own retirement ages.
The lawmakers also condemned the existing 60 years retirement limit policy for permanent secretaries and directors in the federal civil service, except for those whose tenure would extend to the retirement age.
Their condemnations followed last Thursday’s motion titled, “Need to reinstate the abolished civil service tenure policy” by Kehinde Agboola, representing Ekiti North 1 (Oye-Ikole) Federal Constituency of Ekiti State, calling for the reversal of the policy and was unanimously adopted by the House.
They argued that if the positions were not tenured, as it used to be the practice, promotion and upgrading would hardly be achieved. Awaji -Inombek Dagomie Abante (PDP, Rivers) said without reversing the policy, the service would be encouraging ‘recycling of labour’ without recourse to professionalism and mentorship.
Also, Raphael Nnana Igbokwe (PDP, Imo) said: “Rather than give room for stagnation, the Federal Government should reverse the policy so as to motivate its workforce and enhance productivity.”
In another development, members of the House yesterday expressed displeasure over recent report that Nigeria is one of the leading countries where rights to religious freedom are threatened.
The House during its plenary resolved to appraise the 2017 report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to address various concerns raised by the commission.
A resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion on the ‘Need to appraise the report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom on increasing threat to freedom of religion in Nigeria sponsored by Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum (PDP-Taraba) and 11 other lawmakers.
In his lead debate, Kwewum, who doubles as Chairman, House Committee on Army, observed that the report “moved Nigeria to tier one group, from tier two, which meant that threats to rights to religious freedom are increasing in Nigeria, which is now officially regarded by the United States (U.S.) as being in the same league with Myanmar (Burma), North Korea, Sudan, Russia, Eritrea, China, Syria and Tajikistan.”
Ruling on the motion, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committee on Human Rights to appraise the findings of USCIRF as it affects Nigeria and interface with the government and other stakeholders, including holding a public hearing to determine the extent, if any, of these infractions of religious rights and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.