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Tension In Federal Civil Service

NOT QUITE free or absolved of its ignoble role in the Abdulrasheed Maina saga, the Federal civil service has come into the public glare once more. There is unease arising from stagnation of officers in various grades and promotions due to irregularities in the promotion examination conducted in 2014. Recall that the House of Representatives upon resumption form its annual legislative recess threw out a motion which was to investigate alleged anomalies in the promotion and recruitment exercise in that year. But in a recent move top government officials in the rank of deputy directors are aggrieved over delay in the promotion exercise by the Federal Civil Service Commission Reports indicate that those mostly affected are deputy directors (administration) who are due for promotion to the next rank of director since the last three years cadre but have been stagnated and denied opportunity to sit the promotion examination by the civil service commission following an order of the National Industrial Court restraining it from conducting the promotion examination. The affected senior government officers under the aegis of “Concerned Deputy Directors (2011, 2012 and 2013 set)”in a petition to the House of Representatives Committee
on Public Service Matters are seeking the intervention of the Legislature (House of Representatives) in resolving the pending dispute and ensure that the civil service commission is unencumbered to conduct the promotion examination. In the petition, the affected officers described the restraining order granted by the industrial court and obtained by those who sat for the Director’s (administration) promotion examination in 2014 as being in bad faith. They explained that by obtaining the order, the litigants have succeeded in stalling the promotion of officers due to sit for the Director’s (administration) cadre examination for the past three years. The petitioners said they were constrained to seek the intervention of the House committee after concerted efforts of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to find an amicable out of court settlement between the disputants failed since the penultimate year, precisely 2015. According to the petitioners, there were grave consequences since the promotion exercise was suspended, among which are, stagnation on the position of deputy directors (administration), loss of morale among affected officers and distortion of succession plan in the civil service. They specifically lamented and raised the alarm of the direct dysfunction in the structural functional relationship in the operation of the federal civil service, which will affect the administrative officers’ class up to the post of permanent secretary in the long run. “This means that only officers outside the administrative officer class will be appointed to run the federal civil service including the position of administrative officers at all levels,” they stated. They are therefore, prayed the House to facilitate an amicable resolution of the current impasse by ensuring that the grievances of all parties, including those of the Deputy Directors who wrote the disputed promotion examination in 2014 are addressed and that the Federal Civil Service Commission conduct promotion examination for officers in their category and others stagnated so far following the impasse.