By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has given reasons why his administration introduced qualifying examination for directors seeking to become permanent secretaries, stressing that the moved was aimed at setting a solid foundation for a virile state civil service.
Engineer Sule stated this while being presented with a report by the committee constituted to conduct examination for eligible directors for appointment into the post of permanent secretary in the state public service, at the Government House, on Thursday.
While noting that the civil service in Nasarawa State presently is weak, in spite of the work being carried out by the state Head of Civil Service, the Governor said the decision to set qualifying examination for directors seeking to become permanent secretaries, was in a bid to restructure the civil service and to restore it to its past glory.
According to Engineer Sule, without a virile and committed civil service, all the investments the administration is trying to attract, all the development efforts, cannot be achieved.
The Governor however assured that, with the nature of appointments in the state, other considerations, aside of the examination, will also play critical role in the selection of the permanent secretaries.
“What we are trying to do, based on my knowledge of administration, is to have some guidance, that the people we are selecting have capacity.
“In selecting, it’s not only the outcome of the examination that is being considered, there are other considerations. We have to have representation from different part of the state. And I have no doubt that in every local government that you go, you will find persons with capacity,” he stated.
Engineer Sule used the opportunity to also comment on insinuations that his administration is setting up too many committees, stressing that committees are useful in guiding the administration to do things right.
He pointed out that setting up committees is not necessarily because the administration didn’t know what to do.
“The easiest thing to do while selecting directors who will become permanent secretaries, is for the Governor to sit down and look at all the directors and other people in the civil service and appoint some of them, as provided by the law.
“But if I want to do it right, it’s to go by setting up committees because members of the committee know the directors better,” Engineer Sule said.
The Governor further assured that his administration will sustain these two strategies, of setting qualifying examination, as well as referring to people with more experience, in the appointment of permanent secretaries and other government officials in that cadre, at least for guidance which will help the state government gets the best for the state.
The Governor thanked the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, who was Acting Governor while Engineer Sule was away on vacation and who identified the members of the committee, the Secretary to the Nasarawa State Government, Barrister Muhammad Ubandoma Aliyu, as well as members of the committee for doing a wonderful job.
Earlier, while presenting the report, Chairman of the committee, Jonah Ogbole, described the exercise, being the first of its kind in history of state, as a revolution.
According to Ogbole, who was a one time Secretary to the Nasarawa State Government, without the civil service, there is nothing that can be done.
He commended the Governor for the initiative, adding that there are only few states in the country, aside of the federal government, where such innovation has been contemplated.
“We want to give you credit for this. It’s a very big event, it’s a revolution,” he stated.