Protesting workers reject deployment of a new Perm Sec for FCTA

Protesting workers reject deployment of a new Perm Sec for FCTA
January 15 16:18 2024 Print This Article

Workers of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), under the Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC), on Monday, January 15, took to the street to protest the deployment of a Permanent Secretary (PS) for the FCTA by the Head of Service of the Federation.

The protesting workers also demanded for the full implementation of the FCT Civil Service Commission (CSC) Law, 2018, which provided for the appointment of PS from the FCTA.

You may want to recall that the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation announced President Bola Tinubu’s approval for the posting of 24 Permanent Secretaries in Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDA).

Among the affected PSs is Dr Magdalene Ajani, who was redeployed from the Transportation Ministry to the FCTA to replace the current PS, Olusade Adesola, who would retire on Jan. 29.

JUAC president, Matilukuro Korede, who spoke on behalf of the workers in Abuja on Monday, challenged the deployment, which he described as an aberration of the FCT CSC Law.

Korede recalls that the Federal Executive Council had in October 2023, approved the implementation of the law establishing a CSC for FCT.

The president said by this development, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, did not have the power to appoint a Permanent Secretary for the FCT.

You may also want to recalls that the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike had in October 2023, announced President Tinubu’s approval for the establishment of CSC for the FCT.

Wike had explained that the development would allow career progression for civil servants in the FCT Administration to become permanent secretaries, who before now could only get to the position of a director.

He explained that the directors could not get to the peak of their careers because there was no CSC for FCT.

JUAC president, therefore, described the action of the Head of Service as faulty and called for the full implementation of the FCT CSC Law.

He said: “On Thursday, we heard that the head of the service has announced that she has gotten approval from President Tinubu to deploy another Permanent Secretary to FCT.

“We felt aggrieved because it is an aberration. As we speak now, the FCT CSC Law has been gazetted since 2018.”

He said that since 2004, the staff of FCTA had been deprived of becoming permanent secretaries, adding that the law to make it possible was signed in 2018 but implementation became a problem.

He said that Wike took the issue and within a month, secured President Tinubu’s approval for the implementation of the law.

“But to our surprise, the Head of Service decided to include a name for appointment as permanent secretary for the FCT.

“As far as FCT is concerned, the permanent secretary should be appointed among the qualified directors in the FCTA and not from outside.

“This will provide an opportunity for the staff of FCTA to get to the peak of their career by becoming a permanent secretary.

“Our demand, therefore, is that the appointment of a permanent secretary outside the FCTA is an aberration and an anomaly that should be corrected.

“We are waiting for the implementation of the FCT Civil Service Commission,” he said.

He added that if the Head of Service insists on appointing a permanent secretary from outside the FCTA, then she has to wait for the law to be amended and be given the power to do so.

“But between now and then, the law must be obeyed and what we know is that FCT CSC has come to stay.”

Korede equally announced to the protesting workers that Wike had reached out to the leadership of JUAC and asked them to be calm.

He said that the minister promised to meet with President Tinubu over the issue and would get back to them.

He, therefore, asked the workers to shield the sword and return to work, while awaiting feedback from the minister, which would determine the next line of action.

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