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Government moves to resolve contentious issues in civil service

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NAICOM Building

NAICOM Building

Searches for new statistician-general
To resolve emerging contentious issues in the civil service, the Federal Government has begun a review of the 2000 edition of the scheme of service. The decision to review the document was reached at the National Council on Establishments (NCE) meeting held in Minna, Niger State.

An investigation by The Guardian revealed that there has been a controversy in recent times over the qualifications with which some directors entered into the service. Some of them were said to have secured appointments without basic requirements in line with government standards. A top government official told The Guardian that the review of some of the provisions had become inevitable in view of current realities.

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is one of the agencies that have written to the Head of Service, seeking clarifications on the qualifications for entry into the service.NAICOM’s letter to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, dated September 17, 2015 and signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance (Finance and Administration), Mr. George Onekhena, reads in part: “We write to seek your clarification and advice on the position of the public service with regard to the status of ICAN professional qualification (ACA) in relation to first degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) in employing people into the service.

“In 2012, the … was employed and he did not have a first degree but ICAN professional (ACA), and the management regarded the latter as equal to the former, especially in view of your letter with Ref No. 54428/5.18/1/401 dated, February … on this matter. Copy attached.”The letter further stated: “The subject had acquired a first degree in 2013, one year after joining the service, and his performance since inception has been assessed as exceptional.

“The purpose of this letter is to seek your clarification and advice as the subject has been overdue for confirmation of appointment which has been delayed for reasons including the foregoing.”Additional findings by The Guardian indicate that the person in question had his appointment confirmed after three and half years with the commission.

Responding to NAICOM’s letter, the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, in a letter dated October 5, 2015 and signed by Acting Director (Organisation, Design and Development), Mr. F. O. Bajowa, with reference No HCSF/EPO/EIR/8.54428/21A/T2/111/771, stated that the person with professional qualification such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria could be accommodated.

The Head of Service further said that in line with the provisions of the existing scheme of service, it is only ICAN and other related qualifications prescribed in the scheme that can be considered for civil service appointment.

“However, candidates possessing the professional qualification of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) must, in addition, possess HND or first degree in a relevant field to be eligible for appointment to the service.”

The person whom the commission’s staff, under the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUPCTRE), faulted his recruitment process is a director at NAICOM.

The Guardian findings, however, revealed that the staff are not seeking the director’s exit but for him to be given a position that he truly deserves, which the union argued should be that of a manager or a senior manager in view of his qualification.

His appointment into the commission on October 2, 2012 as a deputy director in 2012 did not only elicit a call for the reversal of his position but stirred his colleagues to a controversy that is currently threatening to tear NAICOM apart.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has begun a search for a replacement for the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, who has completed his tenure as chief executive officer of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Kale was brought by the immediate past administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, as the head of the NBS to introduce best practices in the management and computing of data for use by government and international development partners.

With his imminent exit, the NBS faces the challenge of losing another critical and experienced top management personnel, a challenge that has bedeviled the specialised agency in the last three years.


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