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NESLAI alleges corruption in selection of permanent secretaries

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A group, New Era For Sustainable Leadership and Accountability Initiative (NESLAI) has alleged that, the selection process for the appointment of permanent secretaries in the recent past have been fraught with corruption, outright fraud and all manner of malpractices.

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The group also frowned at the appointment of non-career civil servants as permanent secretaries, which they say dampen the moral of civil servants that have risen through the ranks.

The executive director of the initiative, Comrade Edwin Olorunfemi, spoke while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday on the skewed process in the selection/appointment of Permanent Secretaries to Federal ministries.

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Olorunfemi asked the Federal Government to jettison the examination process and use appraisal of the civil servants in terms of merits.

“Further Findings also revealed that the selection examinations processes in time past were laden with fraud, corruption and also enmeshed in all sort of malpractices, as monies were alleged to have usually changed hands between the examiners and the desperate candidates in order to boost their scores believing that they stand a better chance with higher scores,” he said.

“Few weeks ago candidates were asked to submit CVs, a situation which has prompted many running to banks for loans which will invariably put them under pressure for repayment there by leading to corruption which the current administration out rightly frowns at from the beginning of its emergence in office.

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“Moreover, judging that in a time like this whereby government is considering cutting down cost of governance, whereas lots of money is required for the conduct of examinations, wisdom dictates that we jettison the idea of conducting examinations but rather, set up a committee and invite prospective candidates for a one on one interactive session where their antecedence will be properly scrutinised and merit given to those who deserves it.”

On the appointment of non-carrier civil servants he said, “We must not be oblivious of the fact that, as much as competence is important and required, appointing non-career civil servants as Permanent Secretaries should be discouraged as it dampens the morale of the civil servants that has grown through the ranks and put in most active parts of their lives in service diligently.”

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Olorunfemi said such actions invariably will deprive them of getting to the peak of their career which also couldlead to inefficiency and dereliction of duty in the civil service.

According to him the position of Permanent Secretary requires a candidate to have been in the civil service for at least 25-30 years.

In the light of that he urged the Federal Government to develop a workable template and mechanism that will see to the emergence of best hands for the job.

He also challenged the Government to jettison selection examination considering its cost implication coupled with the corruption it breeds in the system.

The group also demanded that a committee should be set up to invite all the candidates for an interactive section.

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“This we believe will help save cost, time and streamline the numbers instead of having to conduct examination that has no direct bearing on the job description.

“Past records, competence and potential be given consideration above every other thing as what we need is delivery on the job and not figure heads.

He indicated that career civil servant that have grown through the ranks should be appointed to boost the morale of the civil servants giving them the hope and assurance of getting to the peak of their career which will lead to efficiency and commitment to service.

He expressed the optimism that the Federal Government will heed their advice and act fast.

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In this article:
Edwin OlorunfemiNESLAI
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