Crisis in Federal Civil Service over ex-President Jonathan’s last-minute appointments

The crisis in the federal civil service appeared to have worsened with career civil servants protesting against the absorption of 530 aides and cronies of former President Goodluck Jonathan into the civil service in the last days of the past administration.

The new recruits into the service were also said to have been installed in high positions, from assistant directors upward.

Already, six deputy directors in the federal civil service are in court to protest against the manner the last promotion examination to directors’ level was handled by the Federal Civil Service Commission.

The FCSC released the list of newly-promoted directors in October 2014.

The six aggrieved deputy directors – Dr. John Magbadelo, Mrs. Ada Ihechukwu Madubuike, Mrs. Ganiat Ayodele, Mr. Olusegun Oginni, Mrs. Janet Ayorinde and Mr. Otajele Musa – filed an action at the National Industrial Court on March 26, 2015 to question the exercise.

Most senior civil servants are said to be unhappy with the FCSC, a situation which is said to have been made worse by the Jonathan recruits into the service.

Sources said that between the time Jonathan lost the presidential election of April 11 and the May 29 handover date, 530 persons from different backgrounds had their appointments into the civil service regularised.
A director in one of the sensitive ministries told Punch that the FCSC, through ‘‘crafty schemes’’, brought into the civil service “numerous aides of the former President Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo and ministers.

The director, who asked not to be named, said, “These new recruits are placed on very high grades as assistant directors, deputy directors, and directors.
It was gathered from a reliable source that their appointments were made through a “regularisation window’’, which the FCSC backdated to December, 2014.
“Through regularisation, fresh graduate appointees were placed on Grade Level 12 instead of Grade Level 08, while some others were upgraded to very high levels in defiance of extant rules. We now have letters of regularisation flying around the ministries.

“No fewer than 530 people are being regularised into the service from different backgrounds, including unscheduled private enterprises. These atrocities are responsible for the depletion of vacancies, which ought to be utilised for the promotion of deserving serving officers in the federal civil service.”
Another aggrieved director in one of the parastatals under the Presidency said that the FCSC had, in the last six years, been under serious pressure by ranking politicians, who insisted on giving jobs in the civil service as rewards to their cronies.

The director cited the case of one political appointee, who was allegedly moved from Grade Level 09 to Grade level 16, and subsequently moved three months after to the post of director on Salary Grade Level 17.
He said this was just one of the many recent irregularities perpetrated by the FCSC, “while the chairman of the FCSC, Deaconess Joan Ayo, keeps saying that lack of vacancy was responsible for the non-promotion of most deputy directors who passed last year’s promotion examination.”

“Just anybody with the right connection or big purse can be promoted or transferred to the post of a director in the civil service today. These transfers are being done in violation of the extant public service rules, which the FCSC published and circulated to all government offices,” the official alleged.
Many of the directors, who spoke to Punch on the alleged rot in the civil service, called for the review of both the promotion exercise and “illegal” recruitment into the high cadre in the government offices.

Credit: Friday Olokor/Punch