Anxiety As Over 500 Federal Civil Service Directors Are Set To Lose Their Jobs - 9jaflaver

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Anxiety As Over 500 Federal Civil Service Directors Are Set To Lose Their Jobs

The new Public Service Rules is set to affect as many as 512 directors who have stagnated on their position for eight years or more.

There is palpable fear in the federal civil service as over 512 civil servants on the directorate level are likely to be forced into early retirement.

This followed the introduction of newly revised Public Service Rules (PSR), 2021, by the Federal Government which takes effect from July 27, 2023, and launched by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation on July 28, 2023, in Abuja.

The revised PSR states that directors who have been in their position for eight years or more would have to turn in their notice of early retirement. The rule also said permanent would spend four years in office but their own tenures would be renewable for another four years based on performance.

The new PSR is set to affect as many as 512 directors who have stagnated on their position for eight years or more.

It was further gathered that the rules were revised under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari but the launching was delayed until President Bola Tinubu took over power.

Based on the PSR, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan is said to have issued a memo to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to ensure compliance with the newly revised rules.

The memo dated July 27, addressed to all Permanent Secretaries, Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation and Heads of Extra Ministerial Departments, ordered strict compliance with the revised rules.

It read, ‘’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, the PSR has become operational with effect from 27 July, 2023.

“You are, therefore, to ensure full compliance with all provisions of the Public Service Rules, 2021. Please, ensure strict compliance with the contents of this circular.”

But the argument among civil servants is that the new PSR is in conflict with the mandatory 60 years retirement age for civil servants, citing relevant sections of the rules.

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

The rule states that “The mandatory retirement age for all grades in the service shall be 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.

‘’No officer shall be allowed to remain in service after attaining the retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.

“The provision of (i) and (ii) above is without prejudice to 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.”

But the revised PSR 020909 stipulates that, “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.”

Punch quoted that spokesperson for the Office of the Head Service of the Federation, Muhammed Ahmed, to have confirmed the new rule, but said it was simply revised.

“These rules have been on, it was just revised. If you are a director and you have spent eight years in office, this new rule applies to you irrespective of the number of service years you have left,’’ he explained.

Speaking on the new rules, the National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Tommy Etim, was quoted to have said the association was involved in the drafting of the revised PSR and the retirement clause is a welcome development as it would lead to career growth.

He said, “We were part of those responsible for the drafting of the policy. It is a very good policy which of course won’t affect those in academics and some others.

“Secondly, the tenured policy for Permanent Secretaries is also a very good development. What we are looking forward to now is the implementation of the policy. You know it is one thing for a policy to be in the public, the implementation is another thing entirely so we are really looking forward to seeing the implementation as we believe it will aid career growth in the civil service.”

Similarly, the Chairman of Joint Union Congress, Police Service Commission, Adoyi Adoyi, described the new service rule as a welcome development that will create space for junior staff coming behind.

Speaking in a telephone interview, he added, “The new public service rule is a welcome development and I think the government is right in taking that step. The idea is that the system has to be sped up because there is a lot of personnel jam at the top.

‘’The structure of work is a pyramid, the higher you go the smaller the space. So, it is actually an informed decision to ensure that there is space for those who are coming behind.”

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