Organized Labour Condemns President Buhari Extension Of Seven Permanent Secretaries Tenure, Says Is A Bad Precedent
Labour has condemned the extension of tenure granted seven permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) noted that the extension of tenure for seven permanent secretaries breached Public Service Rule.
ASCSN Secretary General, Alade Bashir Lawal, stated that the move flouted Public Service Rule 020810, which stipulates that: “The compulsory retirement age for grades in the service shall be 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier. No officer shall be allowed to remain in service after attaining the retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.”
The union emphasized the need for the illegal tenure extension to be reversed so that the affected permanent secretaries could exit service quietly in order not to trigger off other breaches of the Public Service Rules with its attendant negative consequences for the civil service at the federal level and 36 states.
He said, “The illegal extension is already taking its toll on the morale of directors whose prospects of reaching the peak of their careers have been circumscribed while deputy directors and other senior officers are equally affected. This is certainly not good enough for the service.
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.”
According to the ASCSN, the extension of service of the seven permanent secretaries could be interpreted to mean that the current administration indulged in selective application of rules to favour preferred persons, and such perception would dent the reputation of President Muhammadu Buhari as an incorruptible leader.
It posited that some other officers billed to retire soon were already warming up to submit extension requests and, if the practice was not halted immediately, it might create credibility problem for the administration, which could be avoided if the permanent secretaries affected were allowed to retire and in line with extant Public Service Rules.
He stated further, “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 and start 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.
“It is our hope, therefore, 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 because 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 union recalled that in 2016, 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 union for reversal of the decision, her tenure was extended again in 2017.