President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday swore-in eight new Permanent Secretaries with a challenge that they should remain above board and eschew partisanship in their decisions and actions.
The president, who gave the challenge while swearing-in the permanent secretaries shortly before the commencement of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said they must strive to achieve excellence at all times.
He also enjoined the new permanent secretaries to key into the Federal Government’s programmes aimed at reforming Nigeria and restoring the confidence of Nigerians in government and the civil service.
“To enable you to achieve this, we approved the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2017 to 2020.
“This plan will ensure the civil service is adequately manned and equipped to operate efficiently as it implements government policies for inclusive growth and development.
“When fully implemented, we would have successfully transformed the Civil Service into an efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen-centered machinery of government.
“Therefore, l wish to take this opportunity to solicit your support and cooperation as we implement all the programmes of government in a result -oriented manner that will leave an indelible legacy.
“In doing this, you must all remain above board and eschew partisanship your decisions and actions. You must strive to achieve excellence at all times. Your motto should be civility and serviceability,’’ he said.
President Buhari stated that the call had become imperative in view of the fact that “the country needs a very vibrant, professional and selfless civil service that will help our country overcome its pressing problems.’’
The president also frowned at the way and manner successive government had abused, undermined and destroyed the systems of checks and balances within the civil service that were meant to protect and preserve the interest of the citizens.
According to him, the systemic abuse of power has significantly enriched a few privileged individuals while at the same time making majority of the citizens poorer and underserved.
“As a result, many Nigerians lost confidence in Government and its ability to deliver the required guidance and service to our people.
“When we came to office in May 2015, we promised Nigerians three cardinal programmes namely: Security, inclusive and diversified Economic Development and war against Corruption and abuse of power.
“I am pleased to say that in less than four years, we have made progress on all fronts working very collaboratively with the civil service,’’ he said.
President Buhari, who congratulated the new permanent secretaries, assured the entire civil service and the wider public service of his administration’s commitment to their welfare and capacity development at all times.
The new permanent secretaries, who took their oath of office included Dr Bakari Wadinga (Adamawa); Dr Mohammed Dikwa (Borno); Dr Ajani Magdalene N. Olor (Delta) and Umakhihe Ernest Afolabi (Edo).
Others were Mbaeri Maurice Nnamdi (Imo) Babatunde Lawal (Lagos) Mr. Festus Yusuf Narai Daudu (Nasarawa) and Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan, (Osun).