Chris Steven, Abuja
All is not well with some top directors working in the Federal Ministries,Department and Agencies of government, following speculations that they might be sacked from the service by the federal government, soon.
Their fears have apparently been heightened by the recent sack of about 17 Permanent Secretaries and subsequent appointment of another set to replace them as well as merging of some key ministries by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Secretary-General of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, who raised the alarm over the planned sack through a press statement issued in Abuja Sunday night, appealed to President Buhari not to send the directors packing as they were career civil servants.
He said their demand came on the heels of speculation in the media that thousands of Assistant Directors, Deputy Directors, and Directors in the Federal Ministries would be relieved of their duties just like Permanent Secretaries were recently sacked by the Government.
“Let government be reminded that the directorate cadre in the Ministries are career officers whose appointments are guided by the Public Service Rules (PSR),Federal Civil Service Commission’s Guidelines on Appointment, Promotion, and Discipline as well as the Scheme of Service and as such they are not political appointees like Permanent Secretaries that can be removed at will.
“Indeed, retirement in the Civil Service is governed by the Public Service Rules which stipulates 60 years of age or 35 years of service whichever comes first. Any attempt to remove them prematurely before the terminal end of their career is unlawful and the union will not accept it.
“This is not to say that anyone that is found wanting cannot be disciplined. But in doing that, however, due process must be followed” the union said.
The ASCSN cautioned that if such sack occurs, there will be dearth of competent and qualified officers in the Federal Civil Service if the serving personnel in the directorate cadre is weeded out of the service.
“The Government needs experienced, educated, and highly skilled civil servants to carry out the lofty programmes it designed to bring fundamental change in the country and it cannot do this effectively if it desecrates the civil service by getting rid of seasoned public servants who have put in several years of service,” the union emphasized.
According to the ASCSN, federal government should devise creative measures to revitalize the economy instead of resorting to retrenchment as solution to the temporary challenges facing the economy.
“We are a country that is governed by Rules. Let us obey the rules to the letter and the entire country will be the better for it,” Comrade Lawal noted.