Jonathan condemns indiscipline in Nigerian civil service

The President swore-in some new officials including his adviser on political affairs, Rufai Alkali.

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President Goodluck Jonathan said on Wednesday that indiscipline and lack of corrective measures to enhance commitments to duty in the federal civil service has the tendency to reduce the quality of service.

The President called on officials of the Federal Civil Service Commission to restore discipline by developing the courage to discipline erring officers in the system.

President Jonathan was speaking while swearing in new public officials shortly before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Those sworn-in include Rufai Alkali, Political Adviser to the President; Simeon Etim, Commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission; and three Permanent Secretaries, Binta Bello, Babatope Ajakaiye, and Nanpon Danjuma

“I believe you should have the courage to discipline people under you whose conduct does not reflect what is expected of a good public officer,” the president told the officials. “One of the key problems we have in the service is that unlike in those days when people were given queries, these days the impunity is so high that nobody queries anybody.”

“So as Perm Secs, you must have the courage to query your directors, deputy and assistant directors if you think they have done things that deserve to be queried. If you need to refer to the Federal Civil Service Commission guidelines, you should do so because without discipline as a nation we cannot go anywhere.

“A system whereby you don’t have queries means that there is no quality control. If any factory producing any good and if there is no quality control, definitely the product will lack the desired quality,” he added.

Mr. Jonathan, who expressed his confidence that the newly appointed officers were equal to the task of taking the civil service to greater heights, also noted that “What people complained about these days is lowering of academic standards that lower the quality of the service.”
The President called on the federal civil service commission to ensure that there is equity and justice in employment of persons into the federal civil service.

“… We must make sure that whatever is available in this country goes to everybody, irrespective who he knows. That is the key and that is the message and the key component of our transformation agenda”.

The President used the opportunity to admonish his new political adviser to guard against making unsavoury comments.

“As political adviser you are like the group managing director to Mr. President on political issues. Your appointment is key because you are the chief spokesperson of the president on political issues, and when one listens to some of the comments that we politicians make, sometimes could be terrible and does not portray the character of good politics. We are supposed to be nation builders.
“Even though it is extremely difficult to agree that a politician could be a statesman because we tend to be partisan, but at least in our utterances we should give Nigerians hope that this country will be together and that we must unite and we must collectively forge ahead to develop our country.

“You are a very mature person and I believe that in your conduct, your utterances, your actions and inactions you will portray a good character, a character that politicians and young people will use as a role model. I congratulate you and I know you will not disappoint, not just me but all Nigerians,” he said.


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