Oct 1st, 2011 – President Jonathan swears in new Head of Service
President Goodluck Jonathan has sworn-in Alhaji Isa Bello Sali as the new Head of Service ( HOS ) of the Federation.
The President who noted that the government transformation agenda will grind to a halt without an efficient and effective Civil Service to drive the process, also said the new HOS was assuming office at a critical period in the history of the Civil Service.
“We have new challenges now because this is a government that is committed to transformation; that means that a number of things will be done differently,” Jonathan said.
He added that: “We just cannot wake up and talk about transformation. No individual, no matter how strong you are, can change things if the people refuse to do their work.
“The transformation can only come from the people. And that is why we are emphasising that our institutions must be strengthened. For you to strengthen our institutions, it means that the key actors in these institutions; the civil servants and the public servants working in these places must all consider themselves as agents of transformation and facilitators of government businesses.”
Jonathan pointed out that the main duty of the HOS is to properly supervise and ensure that civil servants carry out their assignments in a competent manner.
“Promotions and appointments are no longer to be based on how many years somebody has been sleeping somewhere, but it depends on how productive the person is and how competent the person is, and of course the degree of integrity,” he said.
Noting that for a long time, Nigeria has lived beneath her potentials, the President said it was time for those potentials to be turned into actual tangible and measurable assets.
“Let me also use this opportunity to plead with the civil servants of our great country that for Nigeria to go where we want to go, the civil servant should play more than 80 percent of the role. The political office holders are very transient even though they have a lot of powers. Those who really make the changes are the civil servants.
“If the civil servants are not committed, we cannot go anywhere. That is why as a government we will also ensure that we create an enabling environment so that people who are working for government must be motivated, so that they will be encouraged to do the work very well.”
He charged the new HOS not to condone any act of indiscipline in the system.
“As a nation, we are tired of hearing that Nigeria is a country that is potentially great. From 1960 we have been hearing that Nigeria is potentially great, it is time that the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy so that work has to be done.
“I also say to the ministers and the perm sec that if you have directors that are serving as stumbling blocks let us know. Yes we have civil service commission that could discipline people but we also have other ways of doing this. So, any group of people that will become clogs in the wheel of progress in any Ministry can be removed to make sure that those people who are ready to work, do the job,” Jonathan said (Daily Times).