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MDAs flout PSR, directors stay put despite retirement age



The Ministry of Information and Culture has issued a fresh circular, instructing Directors who are affected by the new Public Service Rule (PSR) 2021 to promptly leave their positions. However, there seems to be a delay in the mandatory retirement process for about 10 directors within the Federal Capital Territory Administration. These directors, who have been in office for over eight years, have not yet retired, even though nearly a month has passed since the updated Public Service Rules came into effect.

The recent circular, addressed to “All Directors/Heads of Unit” from the Ministry of Information and signed by Ms. Equere E (HRM) on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, directs the affected Directors to hand over their responsibilities as per the revised PSR.

Dated August 17 and titled “Implementing The Revised Public Service Rule,” the circular states:

“Following our earlier circular with reference number FMCT/PS/010/11/113 dated August 10, 2023, regarding the aforementioned subject, and in alignment with PSR 021210:

I have been instructed to urgently request you to hand over your duties to the next most senior officer in your department and promptly commence your pre-retirement training.

We kindly implore you to treat this matter with the utmost urgency it requires.

Please accept the sincere regards of the Permanent Secretary.”

Reportedly, these directors have served in the directorate cadre for a span of nine to twelve years and are now required to submit their retirement letters in compliance with the PSR, which officially took effect on July 27, 2023.

The new rule was expected to affect over 500 directors who have stagnated in their positions for eight years or more.

Recalled that the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan had in a memo dated July 27, addressed to all Permanent Secretaries, Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation and Heads of Extra Ministerial Departments, ordered strict compliance with the revised rules.

The new rules also introduced a tenure policy for permanent secretaries who are now required to spend four years in office which is renewable subject to performance.

According to The Punch, sources at the FCTA said the Director of Human Resource Management, Bashir Muhammad, and his counterpart at the Christian Pilgrimage Board, Dabara Vingo and others who were affected by the rule have yet to vacate office almost a month after the directive became operational.

It was gathered that Muhammad recently requested a three-month tenure extension from the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola.

An official stated, ‘’No fewer than 10 directors who have spent between nine and 12 years in office have refused to vacate office or retire as stipulated by the revised PSR. In fact, the Director of Human Resource Management has just asked the permanent secretary for three months’ extension in office.

‘’Though the request has not been granted, everyone in FCTA is worried by the refusal of the concerned officials to comply with the rules. We are hoping the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike would intervene speedily.’’

Ironically, Muhammad had in a circular dated August 9, 2023, drew the attention of the leadership of the FCT Administration to the HoS directive on the implementation of the PSR.

The letter with reference number: FCTA/HRM/ 141145/Vol.I was addressed to the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority; Secretaries, Mandate Secretariats; Heads of Departments, Agencies and Parastatals, Coordinators and Directors, FCTA Common Services Department and all staff.

It read, ‘’I am directed to refer you to the circular number: HCSF/SPSO/268/T3/2/37 of 27th July, 2023 from the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and to inform you that the revised Public Service Rules has become operational in the services of FCTA with effect from 27th July, 2023.

‘’In this regard, you are to ensure full compliance with all the provisions of the revised PSR, particularly the provision of section 020909 on tenure policy for directors or its equivalent on Grade Level 17. Please, ensure strict compliance with the contents of this circular.’’

Muhammad could not be reached on Thursday as calls to his phone indicated it was switched off.

However, the FCTA Director of Press, Muhammed Sule, explained that the concerned officials had been directed to retire via a circular.

A source at the Federal Ministry of Health said that all the directors affected by the tenure policy have retired as directed by the Head of Service.

“For instance, the Director, Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Morenike Alex-Okoh has left; the Director of Family Health, Dr Boladale Alonge has gone, and many others. The ones I know personally that have retired are about seven,” the source said.