512 directors may be fired due to new public service regulations

Aug 4, 2023 - 15:43
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512 directors may be fired due to new public service regulations

Following the Federal Government's implementation of the recently updated Public Service Rules, 2021, about 512 directors in the civil service who have been on the directorate cadre for eight years may be made to leave their positions.

The Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation launched the PSR on July 28, 2023, in Abuja, and it goes into effect on July 27, 2023.

 The new regulations also included a tenure scheme for permanent secretaries, who must now serve for a minimum of four years before being eligible for renewal based on performance.

The new rule is anticipated to have an impact on up to 512 directors who have stagnated, according to sources in the Federal civil service who verified this to one of our correspondents on Thursday.

When introducing the updated public service rules during the civil service rule last week, the Federation's Head of Civil Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan, noted that implementation will start right away.

Yemi-Esan pointed out that the regulations were updated while former President Muhammadu Buhari was in office, but the launch was postponed until President Bola Tinubu assumed office in accordance with the'renewed hope' agenda.

A document from the OHCSF was sent to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to ensure compliance with the recently updated guidelines, according to certain directors who spoke to our reporters in confidentially. This indicates that the policy is already causing stress and discontent in the civil service.

Yemi-Esan demanded strict adherence to the modified regulations in a memo dated July 27 that was sent to all Permanent Secretaries, the Accountant-General of the Federation, the Auditor-General of the Federation, and the Heads of Extra Ministerial Departments.

"The PSR has become operational with effect from 27 July 2023," it stated. "Following the approval of the revised Public Service Rules by the Federal Executive Council on the 27th of September, 2021 and its subsequent unveiling during the public service lecture during the commemoration of the 2023 Civil Service Week.

"Therefore, you are to guarantee that all of the Public Service Rules, 2021's provisions are strictly followed. Please make sure that the information in this circular is strictly followed.

However, many in the public sector who were against the new PSR's adoption stated that it was 

According to PSR 020908, with the exception of judicial officers, members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, and others, the required retirement age remains 60 years old or 35 years of service, as the case may be.

The mandatory retirement age for all service grades is 60 years old or 35 years of pensionable service, whichever comes first, according to the rule.

No officer may continue working after turning 60 years old or 35 years of service that qualifies for a pension, whichever comes first.

"The provisions of (i) and (ii) above are without prejudice to the prevailing conditions of service for Judicial Officers, Academic Staff of Universities, and other Officers whose retirement age is at variance with (i) and (ii) above."

According to the revised PSR 020909, however, "A Director or its equivalent by whatever nomenclature it is described in MDAs shall compulsorily retire upon serving eight years on Tenure Policy on the post; and a Permanent Secretary shall hold office for a term of four years and renewable for a further term of four years, subject to satisfactory performance and no more."

Muhammed Ahmed, the spokesman for the Office of the Head Service of the Federation, who confirmed the new regulation, claimed it was only updated.

"These rules have been in place; they were only updated. No matter how many service years you still have left, if you have been a director for eight years, this new rule applies to you,'' he said.

512 directors may be required to quit the service, according to multiple sources within the civil service.

Confidently, a filmmaker answered, "Well, I can tell around 512. Many of the directors in our ministry have worked for close to seven years, but due to advancing age, they might not even be able to retire in the following three.

Tommy Etim, the national president of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, commented on the new regulations and mentioned that his organization was involved in the revision of the PSR.

The newly established clause, he added, was a positive move that would encourage professional advancement within the public sector.

We were among the people involved in the policy's drafting, he claimed. It's a great policy that, of course, won't apply to academics and some other groups.

The tenured policy for Permanent Secretaries is another excellent development, according to the second point. The execution of the policy is what we are anticipating right now. You are aware that making a policy public is one thing, but 

Similar to this, Adoyi Adoyi, Chairman of the Joint Union Congress' Police Service Commission, hailed the new service rule as a positive step that would reduce red tape and accelerate the professional advancement of capable junior personnel.

He said, "The new public service rule is a welcome development and I think the government is right in taking that step," in a telephone interview. There is a lot of staff congestion at the top, thus it is thought that the system needs to be sped up.

The hierarchy of work is a pyramid, with smaller spaces at the top. Making ensuring there is room for people who are falling behind is, thus, a wise choice.

"Keep in mind that this policy existed before to the 2016 presidency of former President Muhammadu Buhari, though no one was aware of the circumstances that prevented its execution at the time.

"Junior staff behind may be impacted if you change the tenured position of permanent secretaries and directors. It's not good that so many people are retiring without demonstrating their talent or using their skills.

The labor leader added that the new regulation wouldn't apply to any of the directors of the Police Service Commission.

Ironically, no one in the police service commission is now impacted by the new law because we don't have a director who has served for up to eight years.

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