Thursday, 12 November 2015

Buhari to Perm Secs: My govt will not condone corruption, incompetence

President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, issued a stern warning to the Permanent Secretaries and the entire civil service that his administration would not tolerate corruption, incompetence and excesses.

The president spoke while swearing in the 18 newly appointed Permanent Secretaries in Abuja.

He said: “I must, however, sound a note of warning. It is within public domain that Ministers as Chief Executives of their Ministries as well as other Government officials involved in policy formulation and implementation often complain of the intolerable levels of incompetence, indifference or even suspected sabotage by some of the top echelon of the Civil Service.

“Even where Permanent Secretaries, in some instances, are exempted from these accusations, they are still responsible and liable for failing to provide the required leadership, control and direction.

“This Administration will not condone any excesses, indifference, incompetence, and corrupt practices in any form. Permanent Secretaries are therefore advised to note these words of caution and disseminate them to all Civil Servants accordingly.

“I am sure the Permanent Secretaries and all other Civil Servants appreciate the fact that I have always considered the Civil Service as an indispensable reservoir of experience, expertise and loyalty. I, therefore, consider the Service as a dependable ally in my quest to change this country for the better.”

The president who congratulated the permanent secretaries on their appointments also tasked them on financial prudence.

He reminded them that expectations of Nigerians from the government were high, restating his resolve to create jobs and diversify the economy.

“Permanent Secretaries are the Chief Advisers to their respective Ministers and are responsible for safeguarding public funds and ensuring the propriety of expenditures under their control. They are also responsible for coordinating their respective bureaucracies, as well as, ensuring effective implementation of all approved Government programmes and policies.

“This Government was voted into power by popular mandate to implement clearly articulated programmes and policies to re-generate and re-invigorate the national economy. The main focus is to create employment for the youth, fight corruption, tackle insecurity, and diversify our economic base with emphasis on agricultural development, solid minerals exploitation, as well as provision of infrastructural services.

” This at a time when the nation’s economy and revenue base are very low will task the capability and capacity of any Government. This is why you have been chosen and you should all regard your appointments as an emergency call to duty”, he said.

President Buhari said that his government took a detour from the usual appointment methods in appointing them, hoping that the team would deliver.

“In keeping with the change mantra of this Administration the process for your selection as Permanent Secretaries was a departure from the previous practice of administering written and oral examinations. Instead, a more rigorous selection process, entailing vigorous screening of candidates’ past records, potential and capacity for holding the office, integrity, honesty and sense of commitment was adopted

“I believe this new selection technique will have, hopefully brought up to light some of the best, dedicated, patriotic and hardworking Civil Servants to hold this position of trust. It is my hope that your subsequent conduct and performance will not prove this Administration wrong”, he said.

Meanwhile, 16 out of the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries took the oath of office. They were Ayotunde Adesugba, Taiwo Abidogun, Dr. Bukar Hassan, Mrs. Wakama Belema Asifieka, Mr. Jalal Ahmad Arabi, Mr. Sabiu Zakar, Mrs. Obiageli Phyllis Nwokedi, Mr. Aminu Nabegu,

Others were Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, Mr. Ogbonnaya Innocent Kalu, Mrs. Nuratu Jimoh Batagarawa, Mr. Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, Mr. Bassey Apkanyung, Mr. Louis Edozien, Dr. Ugo Roy

However, two other Permanent Secretaries who were absent at the inauguration were said to have travelled out of the country on official capacity. They were Mr. Bamgbose Olukunle Oladele and Alhaji Mahmoud Isa-Dutse.

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