Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has restated the determination of his administration to continue to ensure that appointments in the State Civil Service are based on ability and competence rather than patronage.
The Governor disclosed this on Tuesday during the swearing-in of Ayoola Owolabi, the State Accountant-General as a Permanent Secretary, stressing that merit–based promotion and appointments is critical to sustainable development.
The appointment of Owolabi became necessary following the upgrading of the Treasury Department which he oversees to a full-fledged extra-ministerial department.
Speaking at the event which held at the Lady Jibowu Hall, Governor Fayemi who explained that the upgrading of the Treasury Department was a product of the recommendations by the Civil Service Transformation Committee which called for a review of the Public Finance Management System. This he said culminated in the rationalization of staffing and structures of Ministries, Departments and Agencies and creation of the Central Internal Audit Bureau among others aimed at strengthening accountability.
“In a bid to strengthen the Public Finance Management System in the State therefore, it became necessary to grant some measure of autonomy to the Treasury Department. As a first step towards this, I approved the creation of a Finance and Accounts department in the State Public Service to expand the career prospects of the Accountants and to reposition our public finance system in the State. For the first time in Ekiti State, a special recruitment exercise was carried out for Chattered Accountants as a deliberate policy of government.
“As a follow up to this, I approved the establishment and bifurcation of the Bureau of Internal Audit from the Treasury Department. This granted substantial autonomy to the Internal Audit unit such that it now operates under a new structure to enhance transparency and accountability. This finally led to the decision to upgrade the Treasury Department to a full fledged extra Ministerial–Department to be headed by an Accountant-General and Permanent Secretary”, he said.
The Governor charged the new Permanent Secretary on probity and accountability; saying that he should “lead by example and show true leadership to your colleagues” while also displaying professionalism in the prudent management of the State’s meagre resources.
Fayemi however said that government will continue to embark on policies and actions that will sustain and promote the peaceful atmosphere of development being enjoyed in the State.
In his remarks, the new Permanent Secretary stated that his appointment is a proof that the Fayemi-led administration is favourably disposed to local government service and staff, as well as Accountants who were just less than 40 before the inception of the administration but has now increased to more than 100 following Fayemi’s approval for more recruitment.
Owolabi assured that he will discharge his duties with professionalism and without fear or favour.
The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Adewale Omirin, the Head of Service, Bunmi Famosaya, as well as members of the State Executive Council, body of Permanent Secretaries, former Secretary to the State Government and renowned Accountant, Abike Sonoiki, and a host of dignitaries.
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