Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday restated his commitment to ensure that the state civil service remains one of the best to reckon with in the country.
The Governor spoke shortly before swearing in Mrs. Lola Are-Adegbite as the new Tutor General/ Permanent Secretary of Education District Four, at a brief ceremony held at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
Stating while that the smooth running of governance lies with the civil service, he said the Permanent Secretaries in the state have adequately carried on even in the absence of the State Executive Council.
“Like I have always said, the bull work of success is really in the civil service. What we have done in the last four months is to set up the institutional framework that will drive the business of government”.
“The Permanent Secretaries have proven in the last four months that even without a cabinet, the business of government can actually be done and this is worthy of commendation”, he said.
Governor Ambode also reiterated his commitment to ensure that merit and professionalism will be the major consideration in making appointments, saying Mrs. Are-Adegbite’s engagement was based on her antecedents over the years.
“I am happy that you are joining a winning team, I am also happy that at least prior to this ceremony, you have proven yourself already in the last four weeks, so we are glad that we did not make a mistake. We know strongly that whatsoever it is that you are going to do in the next few years, it is going to contribute to the development of Lagos State”, he said.
Earlier, Permanent Secretary in the Public Service Office, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, said the swearing in of Mrs. Are-Adegbite was in line with Section 208 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, following the retirement of Mrs. Soname Aderinsola as Tutor General/ Permanent Secretary of Education District IV, last month.
He said Mrs. Are-Adegbite, born July 1, 1958, holds a B.sc in Biology from Texas-Southern University, Houston Texas, Post Graduate Diploma in Education and a Masters Degree in Education both from the University of Lagos, Akoka.
He said Mrs. Adegbite, an excellent team player, a goal getter with over three decades of unbroken public service experience was found worthy in character and competence for higher responsibility.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday received members of various labour unions in the state on peaceful rally at the Lagos House, Alausa, where urged them to rally round weight behind the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello commended the labour unions consisting members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), National Labour Congress (NLC), National Youth Council (NYC) and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) for their decision to show solidarity with President’s Buhari’s quest to stem corruption.
He said that Nigeria is presently at a defining moment of its democratic history which will require all hands to be on deck and support the drive of the government at the centre to return the nation to its glory days.
“We must thank you immensely for the support that you are giving President Buhari. This is what Nigerians need. You are the leaders, you are the opinion molders, without you setting agenda, there is no way this country can progress, so we really appreciate you”.
“All the messages you have brought on this anti-corruption crusade must be delivered to President Buhari. The Governor said I should assure you that your message will be delivered because he takes you as very important partners in progress”.
“He is also seeking your support for all the things President Buhari and the State Governor are doing, so whatever input you may wish to offer, his doors are always open to you”, Bello said.
State Chairman of the TUC, Comrade Akeem Kazeem, said they decided to stage the rally nationwide to throw their full weight behind President Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign, lamenting that the scourge has not only plunged the nation into wanton poverty and infrastructural decay but has dented the image of Nigeria over the years.
“Corruption has created a very bad image for the country and its citizens, as Nigerians are viewed as corrupt and dubious people outside. It has affected all sectors: health, education, petroleum, power, agriculture, transport, goods and services as well as manufacturing”.
“It has also led to massive brain drain- a great number of Nigeria best brains have been driven to other parts of the world where they now spearhead developmental and scientific exploits”.
“On average, virtually all aspects of Nigeria’s infrastructure are in deplorable condition. The country is characterised by bad road networks, constant power outage, lack of security, inadequate water supply, outdated health facilities and declining education system, failing communication networks and unstable economic growth”, Kazeem said.
He also commended Governor Ambode’s strides in the first 100 days in office, saying that the labour unions are fully in support of his drive to invigorate the state civil service and engender development in the state.
“In this state, we have said pensioners’ benefits have not been getting the required attention for so long a time. We must recognise the fact that we are aware that Governor Ambode has released the sum of N11billion to offset pension arrears. It’s a right step in the right direction”.
Representatives of the TUC, NLC, CDHR and NYC at the rally took turns to present letters to Governor Ambode for onward transmission to President Buhari, to intimate him of their full support for his anti-graft war.
In a bid to bring succor to all retirees in the Lagos State Public Service, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday directed that pension cash assets in the sum of N11billion be immediately deployed to offset pension liabilities in arrears since 2010 not only of the Lagos State Government mainstream retirees but also retirees in Local Governments and Parastatal organizations.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Head of Service, Mrs. Shade Jaji, the development is part of efforts put in place by the present administration to find a holistic solution to the issue of payment of pension entitlements to retirees under the PAY AS YOU GO pension Scheme which was discontinued in April, 2007 as well as outstanding accrued pension rights due to retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme.
Mrs Jaji said that the State Government has developed a comprehensive payment plan to resolve all outstanding pension issues in the immediate (short), medium and long terms.
The short and immediate term plan, according to her, is for pension payments to MDAs and Parastatals including Local Governments and SUBEB, which will be made monthly commencing from August, 2015.
The Head of Service said that the above efforts are the outcome of painstaking deliberations by the Public Service Pensions Office, the Lagos State Pensions Commission, the Head of Service and the empathy of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to reduce, if not totally clear the outstanding liabilities due to retirees in the mainstream public service, Local Government/SUBEB and Parastatals in the State.
Today is an important day in the careers of the officers who have just been elevated to the prestigious position of Permanent Secretaries in the Lagos State Civil Service.
Your appointments, from a pool of equally competent and qualified substantive directors, are as a result of a careful selection based on merit, professionalism and proven track record of service to the State.
You will all recall my promise at the Inaugural address on the need to carry out public sector reforms. This phase has seen the merging and realignment of ministries and agencies as well as the creation of new ones. We have established the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment and the Office of Civic Engagement. These are in line with our campaign promises to run an inclusive government and create better opportunities for our people.
This phase has also witnessed the realignment of Parastatals/Agencies reporting through their superintending Ministries to the Governor. In all, we must be committed to the principles of good governance; probity, transparency and accountability.
I expect you to apply the best tenets of the Civil Service in your roles as Permanent Secretaries, making Service and the Common Good of all Lagosians your watchwords.
Your primary allegiance is to the people of Lagos, irrespective of creed or colour. This is the banner of this administration. You must today rededicate yourselves to the service of Lagos State.
The quality of service delivered by this government will be measured on daily basis. Any ministry where the quality of service is compromised, the Permanent Secretary, as Accounting Officer, should be held liable. I expect nothing but excellence in this centre of excellence.
The next phase of our administrative agenda will be the constitution of the cabinet as we consolidate on the foundation we have laid in the last Sixty days.
I congratulate all of you on your appointment and charge you to immediately get to work, prove yourselves and justify this responsibility that has been placed on you.
I look forward to working with you to deliver a cleaner, safer and more prosperous Lagos State.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday swore in 19 new Permanent Secretaries in the State Civil Service with a call on the new appointees to immediately get to work and prove themselves, just as he urged them to make the common good of all Lagosians their watchwords.
The Governor, at the ceremony held at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House, Alausa, admonished the new appointees to ensure proficiency in the discharge of their duties, charging them to be committed to the principles of good governance, probity, transparency and accountability.
“I expect you to apply the best tenets of the Civil Service in your roles as Permanent Secretaries, making service and the common good of all Lagosians your watchwords”.
“Your primary allegiance is to the people of Lagos, irrespective of creed or colour. This is the banner of this administration. You must today rededicate yourselves to the service of Lagos State”, he said.
Governor Ambode said that the quality of service by his administration will be measured on daily basis, hence the Permanent Secretaries must up the ante and be alive to their responsibilities.
“Any ministry where the quality of service is compromised, the Permanent Secretary, as Accounting Officer, should be held liable. I expect nothing but excellence in this centre of excellence”, he said.
He said the Permanent Secretaries were drawn from a pool of equally competent and qualified substantive directors, while a careful selection was done based on merit, professionalism and proven track record of service to the state.
Governor Ambode said the intention of his government was to carry out public sector reforms in line with one of his campaign promises to run an inclusive government and create better opportunities for residents. He said the next phase of his administration’s agenda will involve constituting the State Executive Council so as to consolidate on the foundation laid in the last 60 days.
Earlier, the State Head of Service, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, who presented the new appointees to the Governor, thanked him for recognizing exemplary performance and merit as core criteria for elevation into accountable posts in the state public service.
“There is no doubt in my mind that with these appointments, a strong message has been sent across in the state public service by His Excellency that diligence, dedication, commitment, loyalty and hard work will ultimately be rewarded”, she said.
Speaking on behalf of her colleagues, Mrs. Adekanye Elizabeth Adebunmi, now Permanent Secretary, Office of Civic Engagement, pledged that the confidence reposed in them to serve the state in a higher capacity will be diligently achieved.
The ceremony which was attended by retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries also had family, friends and well wishers of the newly sworn in Permanent Secretaries in attendance.