Findings by Economic Confidential revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan has already conveyed this decision to both the Secretary to Government of the Federation and head of Civil Service of the Federation at different meetings.
This was however, confirmed recently when the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji met with executive members of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN).
Without mincing words, Aji said due to paucity of funds, attendance of overseas training for officers in the Federal Civil Service has been suspended in order to ensure that more officers were trained locally with the available funds.
“We are aware that the amount of money being used to train just one officer overseas could be used to train about ten officers locally. Our aim is to ensure that all civil servants have access to training. This is why we are upgrading our local training institutions so that we can achieve the same impact as those being trained abroad. When necessary, we will bring in resource persons from abroad to train large number of our officers who will also impact the knowledge on others”, he told the unionists.
But to ensure that there was no backlash especially with preliminary processes that will culminate in the 2015 general elections starting off soon, civil servants were given juicy promises to take home to their members.
For instance, Aji said government was working out modalities to enhance the welfare of its workforce like increasing the civil service fleet of staff buses with the purchase of additional thirty buses in the first instance. The buses, he said, would be released to the staff union to manage.
Again, he told them that President Goodluck Jonathan had given directive for the Accountant General of the Federation to settle all entitlements owed staff members such as promotion arrears, transfer allowances and other benefits within a period of two years.
Other promises made to the civil servants include taken care of current career stagnation and payment of housing loans, all of which were being addressed through some innovative approaches.
Aji reeled out some recent achievements recorded in the efforts being made to reposition the federal Civil Service and improve on service delivery. These, he said, include: Peer Review Mechanism among Permanent Secretaries; Restructuring of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; creation of the Pension Transition Arrangement Department (PTAD); creation of two new departments in MDAs, namely, General Services and Reform Coordination and Service Improvements Departments; and transfer of the Group Life Insurance Scheme to the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation.
Others include professionalization in MDAs; restructuring of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms with the appointment of a Director General; unprecedented promotion of over 100 Deputy Director on GL 16 in the Federal Civil Service to the post Director GL 17; re-designation of the post of Director Office of the Permanent Secretary to Director Special Duties with additional schedule of duty; Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) with the Human Resource Component is now being implemented to ensure staff salaries are paid promptly; the National Record Centre, Karu have been rehabilitated and upgraded to ensure proper records management in the Civil Service; and Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB) had paid 19,439 Civil Servants who applied for housing loans.
Speaking earlier, the National President of the Union, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama said that the mission of the Union was to seek the assistance of the Head of Service in addressing some of the pending issues that needed urgent attention in the Federal Civil Service.
These, he said include issues of unpaid staff entitlements, staff stagnation, payment of annual housing allowance, the National Housing Fund imbroglio and workers’ transport problems, among others.