FOLLOWING the reintroduction of the tenure policy in the Federal Civil Service, the Federal Government has ordered all of its directors of Grade Level 17, who have spent eight years on the post to tender their notices for immediate retirement

The directive was contained in a circular signed by the Director of Administration of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mariya Rufai which was dated August 3, 2023, and was addressed to all directors and heads of units of the ministry.

She noted that this was in line with section 020909 of the revised Public Service Rules (PSR). The Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation on July 28, 2023, launched the newly revised Public Service Rules.

It was, however, gathered that the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, had directed all ministries to ensure immediate implementation of the PSR.

More than 512 directors in the civil service who have spent eight years on the directorate cadre would be forced out of the service with the implementation of the newly revised Public Service Rules, 2021, by the Federal Government.

The memo entitled: “Implementation of Tenure Policy” read: “I write to refer you to the “2021 Revised Edition” of the Public Service Rules which takes effect from 27th July 2023. Consequently, all Directors (SGL 17) who have spent eight years and above on the post are by this Internal Circular directed to submit their notice of retirement in line with Section 020909 of the revised PSR effective from the date stated thereof.

“Accordingly, all affected directors are advised to commence the process of documentation with the Administration Department for compulsory retirement by virtue of the section under reference.

“Furthermore, the Directors in question should formally hand over to the most senior officers in their respective Departments and surrender all official documents including Identification Cards as well as official vehicles (if any) before exiting.

“Please bring the content of this internal circular to the attention of all concerned for strict compliance.”

In the revised document, the Federal Government also introduced a tenure policy for Permanent Secretaries. Though the rule states that Permanent Secretaries will now spend four years, it further notes that their tenure is subject to renewal following evaluation of their performances. It also states that directors who spend eight years will compulsorily retire after the period.

Recall that the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua, introduced the tenure policy when the then Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, was in charge.

By a circular dated August 26, 2009, with reference number HCSF/061/S.1/III/68 titled: “Tenure of Office for Permanent Secretaries and Directors,” the tenure policy was introduced into the Federal Civil Service.

The circular provided the following: “As part of the continuing reforms in the Federal Civil Service, the government has found it necessary to develop a policy that will renew and reinvigorate the service, restore the morale of officers, and unlock the creative potential of hardworking officers.

“Accordingly, the government has approved that permanent secretaries shall hold office for a term of four years, renewable for a further term of four years, subject to satisfactory performance, and no more.

“In the case of directors, they shall compulsorily retire upon serving eight years on the post. This approval is without prejudice to the relevant provisions of the Public Service Rules, which prescribe 60 years of age and/or 35 years of service for mandatory retirement. Consequently, all serving permanent secretaries and directors who would have spent eight years on post by January 1, 2010, the effective date of this provision, are hereby notified for the purpose of commencing their pre-retirement activities, when due.”

By another circular with reference number HCSF/061/S.1/III/186 and dated October 21, 2009, the policy was made applicable to parastatals, agencies, and statutory corporations of the government, thereby widening its scope of application.

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