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Disquiet over appointments in National Assembly Commission


National Assembly

• Appointments Are ‘Internal Arrangements’ Says Chair of Civil Service Commission
The appointment of Permanent Secretaries by the National Assembly Service Commission is likely going to distort the hierarchy within the wider civil service and bring the service to disrepute, the forum of retired Permanent Secretaries has said. 
The National Publicity Secretary of the Council of Retired Federal Permanent Secretaries (CORFEPS), Dr. Goke Adegoroye, who stated this in Abuja, cautioned that if urgent steps were not taken by the Head of Service of the Federation, the appointments could render the Service directionless. 
Adegoroye contended that the appointments made, following the recommendation by Clerk of the National Assembly were ill-advised.
He said: “That calls to question its constitutionality because section 171 of the Constitution is clear on appointments of permanent secretaries and, indeed, all appointments above the level of Directors in the Public Service of the Federation. Powers to make those levels of appointment are vested in the President, C-in-C and no one else. Are they now equating the Clerk of the NASS with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) and the National Assembly Service Commission with the President?”

He argued that the National Assembly is an arm of the civil service and not a separate arm of government, saying, “The National Assembly Service cannot function outside of the Civil Service of the Federation. Indeed, there are many services, not just of these two other arms, but even within the Executive arm, with such services as the military, police, SSS, para-military, executive bodies, parastatals and agencies, among. However, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation stands out very clearly.
“Clearly, the Constitution defines the civil service of the federation as, Service of the federation in a civil capacity, as staff of the Office of the President, the Vice President, a Ministry or department of the Government of the Federation assigned with the responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation.”
Observers said while the issue is about appointments, it is, however not the Federal Civil Service Commission that should resolve it, but the offices of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and that of the Head of Service of the Federation (HCSF).

Adegoroye held that the National Assembly’s setup and operations have continued to generate operational bottlenecks in the civil service, hence the need to rein in the Commission’s leadership. 
In his view, a plan to reintroduce a bill that will increase workers’ retirement age from 60 to 65 will increase youth unemployment. 


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