Buhari ap­points Oyo-Ita as head of ser­vice

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Nu­rud­deen M. Ab­dal­lah & Ab­bas Ji­moh

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari has ap­pointed Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita as the act­ing Head of Civil Ser­vice of the Fed­er­a­tion (HCSF).

She re­placed Mr Dan­ladi Ki­fasi, who pro­ceeded on pre-retirement leave Tues­day.

A state­ment by spokesper­son of the SGF, Bo­laji Ade­biyi said the pres­i­dent ap­pointed Oyo-Ita due to the con­fi­dence and trust he has in her to de­liver.

Oyo-Ita’s ap­point­ment was aimed to achieve a geo-po­lit­i­cal bal­ance in the Buhari’s ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ki­fasi, who hailed from Taraba State (North­east) was re­placed with Oyo-Ita from Cross River (South-south), ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment of the Fed­er­a­tion (SGF) Engr. Babachir David Lawal, yes­ter­day.

She was un­til her ap­point­ment the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Fed­eral Min­istry of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy and hails from Oduk­pani Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Cross River State.

“The ap­point­ment is a tes­ti­mony of Mr. Pres­i­dent’s im­plicit con­fi­dence and trust in her abil­ity to dis­charge the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the of­fice of Head of the Civil Ser­vice of the Fed­er­a­tion,” the SGF’s state­ment said.

The new head of ser­vice also served as Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Spe­cial Du­ties and In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Af­fairs and is a fel­low of the In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants of Nige­ria (ICAN).

Born in April 1964, she at­tended Queens Col­lege, Lagos, grad­u­ated at the Univer­sity of Lagos in 1984 with BSc Ac­count­ing and holds a Master de­gree from the Nasarawa State Univer­sity, Keffi.

She was di­rec­tor, Fi­nance and Ac­counts at the Head of Civil Ser­vice of the Fed­er­a­tion.

A staff in the head of ser­vice of­fice told Daily Trust yes­ter­day that Ki­fasi was asked by the Pres­i­dency last month to pro­ceed on the three months com­pul­sory pre­re­tire­ment leave start­ing from Oc­to­ber 1. Ki­fasi was due to re­tire on Jan­uary 1, 2016 when he would have clocked 60 years.

“But in­stead of go­ing on his ter­mi­nal leave, the former Head of Ser­vice started in­tense lob­by­ing to re­main in of­fice,” the staff who pleaded anonymity said.

Part of his lob­by­ing, he said, “in­cluded vis­i­ta­tions of some min­istries, paras­tatals and agen­cies in Abuja.”

A di­rec­tor in the head of ser­vice of­fice said the tra­di­tion was for the most se­nior per­ma­nent sec­re­tary to act when­ever the HOS pro­ceeds on ter­mi­nal leave. But Daily Trust find­ings re­vealed that Oyo-Ita is not the most se­nior per­ma­nent sec­re­tary in the fed­eral ser­vice.

An­other staff said Oyo-Ita’s ap­point­ment was oc­ca­sioned by “po­lit­i­cal ex­i­gen­cies” and that the pres­i­dent con­sid­ered fac­tors other than se­nior­ity in such ap­point­ments.

He said with Lawal from Adamawa (North­east) as SGF, it is only nat­u­ral for the head of ser­vice to come from the South as was done un­der Pres­i­dents Umaru Yar’adua and Good­luck Jonathan.

At the head of ser­vice of­fice yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, our cor­re­spon­dent saw no­tices in which labour lead­ers un­der the aus­pices of Joint Unions Ne­go­ti­at­ing Coun­cil urged work­ers to come with brooms to­day to “sweep out” Ki­fasi’s “mis­for­tune and in­com­pe­tence.”

But the pres­i­dent, Joint Unions Ne­go­ti­at­ing Coun­cil, Com­rade Olaiya Biam said the work­ers may shelve the “sweep­ing” event af­ter the in­ter­ven­tion of the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary in the HOS, Mr Ba­batope Ajakaiye.

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