By Danladi Al-Hassan
The Federal Government has approved mass redeployment of senior government officials across ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in a move aimed at repositioning the civil service for efficient service delivery.
Those affected in the exercise included about 254 top government officials from Salary Grade Levels 15 to 17 in the director cadre (SGL 17), deputy directors (SGL 16) and assistant directors (SGL 15).
A circular dated October 4 2019, signed Mrs A.I. Attah, the Director overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Mrs A.I. Attah, on behalf of the acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, and marked HCSF/CMO/002/S.II/T.3/II/413, which conveyed the mass deployment, listed 74 directors; 85 deputy directors and 95 assistant directors as being affected in the exercise.
Attah indicated that those affected included newly promoted and existing directorate level officers under the pool of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
She directed that all handover and takeover processes should be completed latest by Friday.
She warned that any of the officers, who disregard the redeployment order, would be sanctioned in line with relevant civil service rule.
“I am directed to convey the approval of the acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation for the redeployment of newly promoted and existing the SGL15-17 directorate level officers under the pool of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as attached.,” the circular stated.
“The posting instructions should be downloaded at www.ohcsf.gov.ng, hardcopies submitted by officers for documentation should be verified with the one on the website.
“All handover and takeover processes should be completed on or before Friday October 11, 2019.
“Any disregard of this deployment shall be treated in accordance with provisions of PSR 030301(b).”
The circular was addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; the Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; all ministers, all ministers of state and all permanent secretaries.
Others are Chairmen of statutory commissions, Chairmen of the Code of Conduct Bureau/Tribunal, Service Chiefs/Inspector-General of Police, the Clerk of the National Assembly; Secretary, National Judicial Council and Accountant-General of the Federation.
Other officers copied are the Auditor-General of the Federation, Surveyor-General of the Federation, Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission as well as directors-general and Chief Executives of parastatals/agencies.
The reasons indicated in the circular for the deployment of the officers range from filling vacancies to understudying of retiring officers and serving as deputies to some officers.
The Federal Government had in August redeployed 36 officials in the directorate level from the SGL 15 to 17 in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of Federation.
The top government officials, who were posted from different ministries, departments and agencies to others, included 16 directors (SGL 17); nine deputy directors (SGL 16); and assistant directors (SGL 15).
Meanwhile, the Senate may soon begin the process that will lead to the merging of some federal agencies in line with its determination to cut cost and prevent duplication of roles.
The legislative chamber had last week expressed concern about the alarming number of the Federal Government agencies, arguing that many of them had outlived their usefulness.
Dr Ahmed Lawan, the President of the Senate, promised that the 9th Senate under his leadership would collaborate with the executive arm of government to see how some of the over 600 federal agencies could be merged.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, explained to one of our correspondents that the Senate would start the process by reviewing the laws that established the agencies.
“It is when the Senate looks at the various acts of parliament that created the agencies that we could determine the steps to take,” he said.
Also Lawan said the relevant committees of the upper chamber would soon be asked to review the acts that established the affected MDAs.
“There is the urgent need to review the acts that establish the various agencies of the Federal Government. We have over 600 of such agencies. Many of them have outlived their usefulness.
“Some of them were set up to address some emerging issues at that time; today, those issues are no longer there. Such agencies are still being funded and they are getting regular budgetary allocations, yet they hardly add any value.
“The time has come for our committees to look into acts of all the agencies that we have under their supervision.
“The committees are expected to see which of the agencies are still relevant and see how to make them more effective and efficient.
“However, when an agency has outlived its usefulness, we should be considering streamlining such an agency,” Lawan said.