Japa: Civil Servants Drawing Salaries After Relocating Must Refund Money – Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu on Saturday vowed to ensure that federal government civil servants who relocated abroad and continue to draw salaries must refund the money and heads of their departments must be punished for aiding and abetting such behaviors.

The President gave the orders at the annual “ Awards and gala night” to mark this year’s civil service week, in Abuja, Saturday night.“During my recent visit to South Africa, I kept abreast of the week’s activities and was particularly struck by *the revelations shared by the Head of the Civil Service regarding employees who relocated abroad while drawing salaries without formally resigning.* It is heartening to hear that measures have been taken to address this issue, but we must ensure those responsible are held accountable and restitution is made,” Tinubu said.

“Culprits must be made to refund the money they have fraudulently collected. Their supervisors and department heads must also be punished for aiding and abetting the fraud under their watch.”* President Tinubu added that the Nigerian Civil Service cannot just be a workplace where ‘anything is possible, ‘where workers violate rules without the fear of punishment or repercussion.

“The civil service of any nation is too important for such misconduct to take root or be tolerated,” he said.

The President while describing the Civil Service as ”the bedrock, the engine, the locomotive of government, which is necessary for the government to deliver public goods to citizens” added that ”As politicians, we are no more than drivers of the locomotives that you provide.”Those who say that a nation is as good as its civil service are close to the truth. You are the real establishment that remains to pilot government affairs as we politicians come and go” he said.

Recall that the Folasade Yemi- Essn, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation had made the observation during the Media parley to mark the Civil Service week.

The President also commended current efforts aimed at grooming the best and brightest brains in the Federal Civil Service to bridge skills gaps in the public service sector, through the Leadership Enhancement and Development Programme (LEAD-P).

He noted that the plan prioritises capacity building and talent management through well-structured training such as the LEAD-P and SMAT-P.This is in addition to structures put in place to promote a culture of innovation in the Service.

President Tinubu commended Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation HoSF, for her efforts in steering the reforms, which is aimed at creating a world-class service that upholds meritocracy and excellence.

“Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives, I urge swift implementation of these reforms within your respective ministries. Our commitment to delivering on the Renewed Hope Agenda demands urgency, without compromising due process.

“I am aware that due process must be followed in conducting government business but that should not give room for any form of red- tapes or insistence on unnecessary bureaucracies.“We have pledged to work for the Nigerian people, and it is critical that all civil servants, and indeed all public servants, recognize the key role they must play in the achievement of our national potential.

The LEAD-P, is a program developed in the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025(FCSSIP 2021–2025), with a goal to identify, mentor and train about 500 future civil service leaders by the end of 2025, as a top talent training course for Civil Servants in Grade Level 10-14.

The Office of the HoSF works in partnership with the Aig-Imoukhuede Foundation, a non- governmental organisation that has invested hugely in the training and re-training of the workforce to ensure efficient service delivery to the citizenry.

So far, over 200 officers have been trained and deployed to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) of government, using the strategyBusinessDay gathered that participants, who are mainly Civil Servants are required to undergo an 8-week internship in a private sector organisations, with the aim of gaining experience in efficient work processes, organisational values, ethics, innovation, and effective management styles.

Tinubu, noted that successive governments had initiated various National Development Plans and programs, and all relied on the Civil Service to translate such plans into high-impact programs and projects across all sectors of the nation’s economy, added that “ We look to you to continue this legacy under our administration”

He also assured of his administration’s steadfastness in its commitment to cultivating. empowering, and professionalizing human capital within the Civil Service.

“It is imperative to foster a culture of excellence and instill confidence among our civil servants. *The President who also acknowledged the challenges the civil service faces, however, assured that the government is “committed to ensuring the welfare and development of all civil servants to deliver optimal performance for the growth of our nation”

The event marked the end of a weeklong program for the 2024 annual civil service week.

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