“White paper on Orosanye under review”
President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that the country’s civil service should not be seen as a dumping ground for job seekers, but should attract the best and the brightest who would bring new ideas to solve the socio-economic problems of the Nigeria.
This was even as he ordered that Orosanye’s White Paper report be submitted for immediate review to enable the government to take the most appropriate decision on its general recommendation.
President Buhari spoke while receiving members of the Central Working Committee of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) at the State House, Abuja, saying the administration was focused on strengthening the service to help the government achieve its objectives.
He noted that the civil service remains the engine room of government and should therefore attract the “best and brightest” who would feed politicians with new ideas while ensuring that Orosanye’s white paper report would be implemented. after examination.
“I am aware that the review is nearing completion. Although some may complain about the time it has taken so far, the outcome of the various review teams would lead to fundamental changes in the structure of our public service and as such it must undergo rigorous scrutiny and scrutiny before it is introduced and implemented,” he added.
The President further directed the Secretary to the Federation Government (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to submit the harmonized white paper once it is concluded, assuring his government was determined to strengthen the service and ensure that helps the government achieve its goals. .
While appreciating civil servants for their role in achieving the administration’s goals, President Buhari noted that a strong civil service was the foundation on which good governance, policy execution and dividend distribution channels democratic could be achieved.
“I am further delighted to note your recognition of the giant strides this administration has made since its inception in repositioning the federal public service for greater productivity and improved performance. listed, which symbolize our commitment to public service despite the many challenges we have encountered since the beginning of this journey,” he said.
Upon the Committee’s request for a review of civil servants’ salaries, the President recognized the urgent need for such a review due to global concerns of high inflation amid general economic disruption.
“However, I wish to urge you to appreciate the revenue constraints the government is currently facing which are primarily caused by the activities of unscrupulous citizens through the theft of our crude oil, a major contributor to our revenue base.
“This is compounded by the global economic downturn as a result of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, which has resulted in price increases not only in the costs of goods and services globally, but also in the transportation of these goods and services around the world.
“You are also aware of the huge burden placed on our finances by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Furthermore, let me highlight the significant investment we have had to make in security over the past seven years, which has meant that other sectors of the economy have not been able to receive as much funding as we would have liked. Only when our country is secure can we move forward and address other aspects of our economic challenges,” he added.
President Buhari explained that investing in security assets has been very expensive after several decades of neglect.
He added: “However, my confidence in the Nigerian Armed Forces is unshakable and I have instructed the Chief of the Defense Staff and his Service Chiefs to wage war against these criminals who have made life difficult for many Nigerians.”
“Recent reports have shown that the message is now being heard and that the dividends from our seven years of investments are coming to fruition. I implore our forces to continue the current effort and determination until we rid our land of these disbelievers.
“I would also like to reiterate that we will not allow a few criminals to have unrestricted access to the country’s crude oil supply, which is why I have ordered our security agencies to quickly halt the activities of these vandals in the Niger Delta”.
According to him, criminal activities on the seas, where large ships seek to hide in neighboring countries, would be checked, stressing that “there should be no hiding places for these criminals and our cooperation with neighboring countries to end to these crimes is strengthened and tightened”. ”
Buhari told the ASCSN Central Working Committee that the demand to restore the payment of gratuities to civil service employees was one of the landmark provisions addressed in the 2004 pension reform law.
“Therefore, the implementation of your demand for the payment of a large sum of gratuity to retired civil servants would go against the intention and the provisions of the law.
“It must be recognized that a change in the application of the law would require an amendment by the National Assembly. But more importantly, the Pension Reform Act is a better designed and more robust system that provides security for retiree funds and their payment,” he added.
Concerning the harmonization of salaries in the Public Service, the President indicated that a Committee has been created for this purpose with the Minister of Finance, who is still in office.
“A report should be submitted at the end of his mission, which would be investigated for appropriate action.”
The President further instructed the Head of Service of the Federation to liaise with other relevant government agencies to see how the 2023 budget forecast could take into account an increase in the budget of the Housing Loans Commission of the federal government personnel.
Labor and Employment Minister Dr Chris Ngige said ASSN members had supported updating the administration’s programs and policies, describing the leaders as mostly civil servants who were broad in civil service procedure, “so when you negotiate with them it’s easy and when you make the right point they know it.
In his remarks, the ASCSN President, Dr. Tommy Okon, noted the “worker friendly” disposition of the administration, especially with the implementation of wide-ranging reforms, which include the regular payment of salaries and allowances, raising the minimum wage, extending the retirement age for some workers such as teachers and maintaining the size of the civil service despite funding constraints.