House Okays Reinstatement of Abolished Civil Service Tenure Policy


James Emejo in Abuja

House of Representatives has condemned the June 20, 2016 abolition of the Civil Service Tenure policy by the federal government and vowed to ensure its immediate reinstatement.

The lawmakers on a resolution, have therefore mandated its Committee on Public Service Matters to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria had protested the policy reversal.
However, the House resolution followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Emmanuel Kehinde Agboola (APC, Ekiti) on the need to reinstate the expunged policy.

The House expressed concerned that in spite of the far-reaching positive impacts the tenure policy has had on public service, the federal government suddenly scrapped the scheme, which stipulated two terms of four years for permanent secretaries and a single eight-year term for directors which commenced in 2009.
It stated that the tenure policy regime guided against stagnation, redundancy, facilitated career progression by ensuring vacancies especially at directorate cadre and motivated staff for enhanced productivity.

According to the lawmakers, the abolished policy extensively checked the bureaucratic corruption in the civil service underpined by people who occupied the same positions for inordinately long period of time, in some cases, 15 to 20 years.
In the lead debate however, Agboola argued that the cancellation was a major setback to civil service reform and transformation necessary for cost effective, efficient and result oriented civil service system.

Besides, he said, it will make the tenure of the elite corps of the civil service to be determined by records that are susceptible to manipulations.
The lower chamber further argued that the policy reversal represented yet another policy summersault which for decades, swept through civil service, making the system uncreative, vulnerable and politicised.

Agboola told THISDAY: “The opinion I’m having is that if we have the best of you as a two-term permanent secretary or director, you should be okay; leave the service, let’s get you out and create more space for others. You have the eight years, so you should be able to mentor others.”