Posted by News Express | 3 July 2019 | 913 times
In its bid to streamline its civil service, the Abia State government has directed its Directors/Heads of Accounts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to henceforth stop pay rolling public servants after their due date of retirement.
The directive is contained in circular issued by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Establishment and Pensions, Office of the State Head of Service, Mr. Okechukwu Ihedioha, which also warned civil servants in the state against overstaying in service.
The circular charged Directors/Heads of Accounts of MDAs to work in synergy with their Heads of Administration with a view to ensuring that no public officer is pay-rolled for salaries after due date of retirement.
In the same vein, all public servants still in service but are due for retirement have been directed to immediately submit their papers for retirement, just as Directors/Heads of Administration of the MDAs were also directed to immediately forward their annual retirement rosters to the Office of the Head of Service, warning that defaulters would be heavily sanctioned.
The warning is coming on the heels of the expiration of an earlier deadline given to public servants on extension of service to go by the end of June 2019.
The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has often times complained that the state civil service was top-heavy thereby saddling government with huge wage bills.
Ikpeazu said the situation has been made worse by civil servants refusing to go when they are due for retirement adding that rather than leave the system, they seek for service extension.
However, during his second term inauguration on May 29, 2019, Ikpeazu said it would no longer be business as usual as the Abia Civil Service would be subjected to serious surgical reforms that may not be palatable to those it may affect.
Shortly after that pronouncement, the State Head of Service (HoS), Sir Onyii Wamah, issued a circular giving all civil servants on extension till the end of June 2019 to quit office, lamenting that their continued stay was equally hindering the growth of others under them.
While efforts were being made to ascertain if those affected, particularly Permanent Secretaries, have heeded to the HoS’ directive which became effective last Sunday, Ihedioha, followed up with another statement requesting serving Civil Servants due for retirement to submit their papers for scrutiny.
Ihedioha warned those affected to adhere strictly to service rules and make their submission to the Office of the State Head of Service, stressing that no public servant was above the rules and regulations guiding the Service.
A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer in the Office of the Head of Service, Adaeze Ralph Igbokwe, revealed that Ihedioha’s directive is contained in “Circular No. HAS/EST/RR/196/26 captioned: Re: Retirement and Payment of Salaries to Retired Officers/Non-Rendition of Annual Retirement Rosters,”
“Mr. Okechukwu Ihedioha warned on the dangers of over-staying in office by serving public officers beyond the statutory retirement age of 35 years of service and 60 years of age,” the statement added.
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