The suspension of the tenure policy for top federal officials won’t be reversed the government said yesterday. Late President Umaru Yar’adua’s government introduced the policy in August 2009 reportedly to eliminate stagnation in the service.
The policy prescribed a term limit of four years for permanent secretaries and another four years (renewable once) for officers on directorate cadre.
However, the federal government suspended the policy on June 20, 2016, saying it had served its purpose.
The suspension was criticised by the proponents of the policy and some public servants who said they have been put at a disadvantage because many directorate staff who are due for retirement will now stay on.
But the government in a letter responding to Daily Trust’s request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) said the suspension stays because it was done to strengthen the bureaucracy.
The response was made in a letter dated July 26, 2016, and signed by Haruna Imrana Yazid, a director of communications in the Office of Head of Service of the Federation (OHSF).
The letter said: “The government is reviewing the policy, along with other policies, in an effort to institute relevant and far-reaching changes to strengthen the civil service.
“We wish to reiterate that just like any policy of the government, policies are supposed to be reviewed from time to time to find out if they have met the desired objectives.
“The aim of this administration in the review of the policy and others for the service is to create a strong, dedicated and effective professional civil service that will propel the development of the nation and also stand global challenges.”
However, two top retired bureaucrats in an interview with Daily Trust hold divergent views about the reversal of the policy.