Tuesday, 4 August 2015

TENURE POLICY REFORM - Unlocking Stagnation in Civil Service Career Progression and Loss of Morale.

Problem: By 2009, the federal civil service had a generation of officers who had been Permanent Secretaries and Directors for between 10 and 12 years but were not due for retirement in at least another 5 years. This caused stagnation in career progression for others and a loss of morale.

Reform Actions: Introduction of the Tenure Policy through which permanent secretaries would hold office for 4 years, renewable for another 4 years and no more, subject to satisfactory performance. Directors would have to compulsorily retire after 8 years. This is without prejudice to the retirement age of 60 years and the mandatory retirement following 35 years of service.

Main Achievements: The policy unlocked a major bottleneck at the directorate cadre, created vacancies, and raised the morale of the majority of public servants. It has freed up many positions to competent senior officers who have provided new vibrancy in the formulation and implementation of government policy. A greater number of public servants, including women, now have access to promotion. Also, the bureaucratic corruption made possible by people being in the same post for an inordinately long period of time has been virtually eliminated.

Key Challenges: The immediacy of its implementation led to an almost overnight haemorrhaging of talent and experience in the service. Again, there are no clear criteria for assessing permanent secretaries, directors-general, and executive secretaries after the first four-year term of office. 

Reference:  Public Service Reforms in Nigeria (1999-2014) - A Comprehensive Review

Click to view Compendium 

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