Labour backs tenure system for directors, permanent secretaries, demands immediate compliance

Labour backs tenure system for directors, permanent secretaries, demands immediate compliance


THE organised labour has expressed support in favour of the recent restored tenure system for directors in the public service rule in Nigeria.

They also demanded immediate compliance to a recent circular issued by the Office of Head of Service of the Federation (OHSF) directing the effectiveness of the tenure restoration.

National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Comrade Tommy Etim Okon, told journalists in Abuja that reversal of the tenure system was approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, in response to protest letters by unions, contrary to information in some quarters that it was a creation of the OHSF.

He said tenure system of the position of director in the public service rule of the federation, ab initio, served as a tool to create vacancies, promotion and progress in the career of public and civil servants in the country.

Okon added that the tenure rule was aborted earlier in the administration of the immediate past president by those who wanted to sit tight in a juicy position but following protest letters from ASCSN and other unions, the tenureship rule was restored.

He said, “When tenure was abolished by the administration of Muhmmadu Buhari, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria wrote and made a case for restoration of that tenure system which Mr President graciously approved before he left office.

“It became obvious that it was to be embedded in the public service rule. The coming out of that rule was not a creation of the Head of Service at all. That fact needs to be established for everyone who cares to know because I have seen a lot of castigation against the Head of Service of the Federation because of the reversal of the rule.

“It was the request of the union (ASCSN) that the tenure system, which was aborted by former President Buhari, be restored and the reason was to give opportunities for growth and promotion because some people will spend almost 15 years in a post as a director. Some spend 20 years as a director, some will not even want to leave directorate to go to permanent secretary. So, that was why we stood against the abolition of tenure system. Now tenure system has been revised in the public service and the circular for it is out and it needs to be implemented.”

“Let’s not also not forget that there are also exclusion because there are those who are educational officers that their tenure were extended by former President Buhari’s administration to cover 65 years of age and 40 years in service.

“A lot of people have remained as a director for over eight, 10 years. Some have even extended over 15 years so they think it should business as usual. But it shouldn’t be so, because the rule covers the civil service. So, if the same rule brought you into the civil service, you should abide by the rule.

“Tenure restoration is in the interest of the entire working people. The reason is simple. As they move, they create vacancies so that there won’t be any stagnation in the service. Of course, when you get to the top, it is going to be pyramid. It cannot be an inverted pyramid. It therefore means that the top has to be thinner. Everybody cannot be permanent secretary. But definitely it is expected that when you rise in your career as a director, you have gotten to the top and have that fulfillment in your career. So where we now have stagnation from assistant director, deputy director is because of the over bloatedness in the directorate cadre.”

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