Permanent secretaries’ selection process retrogressive — CSO

The New Era for Sustainable Leadership and Accountability Initiative (NESLAI) has condemned the resort to written and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) examination for the appointment of permanent secretaries in federal ministries in Nigeria as retrogressive.

The civil society organisation, which stated this in Abuja during a public appraisal of the process, said no sustainable development can take place in the service with such practice.

The NESLAI executive director, Comrade Edwin Olorunfemi, who also condoles with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian armed forces and families of Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, the late Chief of Army Staff and other military officers that died in last Friday’s air crash in Kaduna state, said the written and ICT examinations for the permanent secretaries is unnecessary.

The CSO said the performance of any permanent secretary is not dependent on the assessment examination rather it depends on individual candidate’s experience, competence and leadership qualities, which it said could be determined by oral interview and interactive session.

“We want to commend the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade – Esan for the selection of a committee chaired by Dr Ajani Magdalene Nwanwuche, the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport and co-chaired by Malam Mahmuda Mamman, the permanent secretary of the Career Management Office in the Office of the Head of Service, for the accreditation exercise which we observed was excellent.

“Our stand still remains that written and ICT examinations slated for Monday 31st May and Thursday 3rd June, 2021 respectively be dropped because for a civil servant to rise to the level of director, he/she must have sat for about 10 examinations from Grade level 08 to Grade level 17.

“What is laughable is subjecting a director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to proficiency test in Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point Application which is expected of the support staff. If anything, it is making a mess of the candidates and the entire civil service.”

The CSO appealed to the federal government to drop the idea of written and ICT examination, saying it is tantamount to waste of time and resources, instead urged the government to ‘appraise and appoint permanent secretaries based on their past contributions as directors to national development’.

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