The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has applauded the efforts of the Federal Government to sanitise the federal civil service by discovering and weeding out people with fake certificates.
The group noted in a press statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that under the present administration, out of a total of 100,000 staff of the federal civil service that the current Head of Service, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan met, about 24,000 of them have been weeded out based on the irregularities discovered in their certificates and employment.
“The Head of Service had also, during the media parley to mark the activities of her ministry, stated that the federal government has ordered the immediate suspension of 3000 civil servants over the alleged presentation of fake certificates for recruitment into the civil service.
“The 3000 workers with fake certificates were discovered in the ongoing certificate verification exercise. Also, the federal government had in April 2022 detected 1500 workers with fake appointment letters and weeded them out of the service. All of these were made possible through the efforts of the present administration to clean up the payroll using IPPIS (Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System) and a service-wide verification exercise.
“We note that this move has led to the restoration of sanity to the civil service, reduction in the cost of governance, enriched the civil service with qualified people and ensured that quality services are delivered to the Nigerian people.
“Definitely these accomplishments would not have happened without the commitment of the Buhari administration to follow due process and rule of law in the governance of the country,” it said.
The group commended the Head of Service and her team for the efforts to clean up the civil service and emphasised the need to bring the perpetrators to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, has described the Nigerian civil servants as exceptional and highly productive in their services to the development of the country.
Yemi-Esan made the assertion at the Thanksgiving Service, in commemoration of the Civil Service Week, at Exousia Church of God on Sunday in Abuja.
According to Yemi-Esan, going by the assessment of the current civil service, the present crop of civil servants in Nigeria are competitively rating with their counterparts in other parts of the world.
“Honestly, the Nigerian civil servants are very harworking, creative in their services and I don’t have any reasons at all to regret being the head of service, because I have received a lot of cooperation, a lot report of of hard work among them.
“Unfortunately civil servants are not well celebrated, ” she said.
She, however, advised the civil servants not to relent efforts in their good works and services to their fatherland.
“They are doing very well and my prayer is that they continue, they shouldn’t rest, they must continue to be productive.”
On the significance of the service of thanksgiving to God, the HOS said it was pertinent to do so as he had been good to Nigerians and civil servants in particular.
“It is very important to give thanks to God because he has been good to us especially in the civil service, so we have to give him thanks.
“We also have another reason to give thanks to God because all the programs for the civil service week went very smoothly”, she said.
Meanwhile, the priest in charge of the service, Pastor Kunle Shoyele in his sermon, advised the civil servants to be more productive, saying productivity increases their capacities.
In his sermon with theme, ‘Your talent is given to you for use”, the clergyman took read from the book of Mathew 25:14 – 30.
He gave an illustration on how a man out of the three men, who received one talent, despised the little talent and thereby, missed it all.
The ceric, therefore, advised civil servants not to despise their little beginning, adding that they should make good use of their time while working in office.
“The illustration in the talents of the three men in the Bible is applicable to us, any gift given to us by God is for our productivity.
According to him, God is an investor and whatever he gives us, he expects good out of it and our lives is an investment.
He added that talents are given to us for purpose, hence the need to be productive in services to the nation.
“Make good use of your time at work in your offices, every office you occupy is given to you in trust and you are expected to execute your services satisfactorily, expecting that some day, you will give account for it, ” the clergyman advised.
Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), has reassured that examinations of permanent secretaries before their appointments pass through rigorous processes.
Yemi-Esan made this known at a Media Parley with Editors and Correspondents of Media Houses on Wednesday in Abuja.
The HOS, who is responding to the controversy surrounding the examinations and appointments of permanent secretaries, said their appointments were strictly based on merit.
She said their appointments passed through rigorous processes and there were no malpractices in the examinations as being alleged in some quarters, adding that “there are no preferred candidates”.
The HOS explained that some directors due for the examinations were always complaining about the introduction of computer-based tests as many of them were unable to operate computers.
She said it was difficult to understand how civil servants on the cadres of directors and permanent secretaries could not operate computers.
According to her, the office of the HOCSF used to set questions a day to the exams without the candidates or examiners knowing about it, so there is transparency in handling of the exams.
“If the service is going digital, and permanent secretaries who are supposed to lead the digitisation process don’t know how to operate computers, how can we not say that the public service is confused.
“How are they going to lead by example? That is the first thing, ” she explained.
She said the Federal Government had embarked on the digitisation of the civil service and all civil servants were expected to be able to operate computers.
Yemi-Esan said her office, in order to ensure that there was no malpractice, had to involve security agents both during the setting and the marking of the exams, hence there was no chance for manipulation or having preferred candidates.
On the issue of some MDAs not apply the civil service rules in some aspects of their operations, Yemi-Esan said any worker affected in any issue had the right to petition to her office.
“In office of the HOCSF, we don’t know the details of what is happening in your parastatals and your agencies except you draw our attention to it.
“If you don’t draw our attention, we cannot know about it; that is the only way we are going to pay attention to whatever thing that is happening there,” she advised.
She also assured civil servants of the Federal Government’s relentless efforts to digitise the civil service system.
The HOS therefore advised all MDAs to key into the process in an efforts to revolutionise Nigeria’s public service to global standards.
While appreciating the media for their cooperation with her since she assumed duty, Yemi-Esan said the forum was an interactive one to celebrate with media “as the country is celebrating the 2022 Civil Service Week.”
On salary harmonisation, Dr Emmanuel Meribole, the Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategies, explained that the committee working on it would submit its reports within the next two months.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum, which was part of activities to mark 2022 Civil Service Week, attracted permanent secretaries across MDAs, media stakeholders from both print and electronic among others.
President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the Presidential Council on Digital Economy and e-Government, promising that his administration will continue to take advantage of digital technologies to transform every sector of the economy.
Speaking at the event on Friday in Abuja, the president directed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, to chair the council on his behalf and give regular updates.
He tasked members of the council to work towards further strengthening the capacity of government to develop, adopt and deploy digital technologies to make government more efficient and transparent, thereby improving Nigeria’s global standing in the ease of doing business index.
The president noted that the council, whose members have been arrived at after a painstaking and thorough process, would provide the oversight needed to bring about a veritable structure for accelerating achievements in digital economy and in the implementation of e-government in the country.
He enjoined every member of the council to consider the task as a national assignment and justify the trust reposed in their ability to support and significantly enhance the digital transformation of Nigeria.
‘‘I launched the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) on the 28th of November, 2019, and expanded the mandate of the then Ministry of Communications to include Digital Economy.
‘‘The implementation of that policy and mandate has enabled us to achieve significant progress and record a number of unprecedented achievements.
‘‘The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy showed that the steps we took in developing and implementing NDEPS were indeed timely.
‘‘For example, the Information and Communications Technology sector was the fastest growing sector in both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the entire year 2020, based on the Report by the National Bureau of Statistics.
‘‘The sector’s 14.70% double-digit growth rate was instrumental in supporting our country to exit the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, far earlier than predicted by experts.
‘‘The significant contribution of 17.92% by the ICT sector to our GDP in the second quarter of 2021 is another example of the important impact of the digital economy on the overall economy.
‘‘In the same vein, the growth of our digital economy sector enabled us to cope with the effect of the lock-down as both activities of the government and private sector, as well as educational activities, were able to move to online platforms,’’ he said.
Furthermore, Buhari expressed delight that the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions had helped to formalise government online meetings.
According to him, statutory meetings like the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Council of State, and other meetings can now effectively and legally take place online.
He added that Nigeria’s progress in e-governance had been noted by the international community, eliciting recognition from international stakeholders, including the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as the Chairman of the 2022 Forum of the highly regarded World Summit of the Information Society.
While congratulating the minister, the president acknowledged that the ministry has partnered with the Korea International Cooperation Agency to develop a National e-government Master Plan, approved by FEC in August 2019.
The president listed benefits from the partnership, including “the training of over 1,400 Nigerian public servants in both Nigeria and South Korea on e-governance; the launching of an E-Government Training Centre handed over to the Federal Government in November 2019, and the signing off of Phase II of the e-government Project – ‘Project for Building Foundations Towards Digital Governance in Nigeria (2020-2026)’.’’
In his remarks, Pantami noted that NDEPS launched in 2019, made provision for the establishment of the Presidential Council to coordinate the development of an indigenous digital economy.
While describing the implementation of NDEPS for a digital Nigeria as very successful, the minister said in the last two years, the sector had provided ICT intervention to no fewer than 1,667 institutions at the federal and sub-national levels.
He stated that the recent auctioning of spectrums by the ministry generated over 400 per cent revenue to the Federal Government coffers while two virtual institutions established by government had trained some 500,000 Nigerians on digital and emerging technologies.
The 27-man committee chaired by Pantami on behalf of the president has the following members: Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State; Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State; Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State; Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo; Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Sen. Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo.
Others are Dr Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of Civil Service of the Federation; and Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Nigerian Communications Commission.
Prof. M.B. Abubakar, Managing , Galaxy Backbone Limited; Dr Abimbola Alale, Managing , Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited; and Aliyu Aziz, Director , National Identity Management Commission, are also members of the council.
Also in the committee are Mr Oswald Guobadia, Senior Special Assistant, (Digital Transformation) to the President; Olufemi Olufeko, Director, e-Government Dept, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; A.B. Okauru, Director General, Nigeria Governors Forum; Prof. Simon Sodiya, President Nigeria Computer Society; and Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).
Other members are Prof. Kabiru Bala, rRepresentative of Academia and Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Prof. Nnenna Oti, representative of the Academia and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Owerri; and Kashifu Abdullahi, Secretary and the Director , National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Mr Sungil Son, Country Director (KOICA); Dr Olufemi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Research & Development) to Minister of Communication & Digital Economy; and Abubakar Dahiru, Special Assistant (Cyber Security & Digital Identity) to the Minister are also members of the Committee. (
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday observed a minute silence in honour of former Minister of communications under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime, Olawole Ige, who died at 83.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was presided over President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa Abuja.NAN reports that the family of Ige announced his death on May 9.NAN reports that those in attendance at the meeting are the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and the Head of the Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan.Others are the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Munguno.Cabinet ministers at the council chamber include Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami; the Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed;Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello; Aviation, Hedi Sirika and Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.The Ministers of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.Others are Minister of State for Health, Olorunimbe Mamora; Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri and Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba.NAN reports that other cabinet members including the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen are participating in the meeting virtually from their respective offices in Abuja.(NAN)