decided that payment of pension, life insurance and severance
allowances where such existed are to be cancelled in line with
what has been described as global best practices.
Former lawmakers at the Conference were quick to kick
against the decision on the grounds that holding a
political office is not the same thing as being a career
public servant; and that the Legislature as presently
constituted is operating on part-time basis because
members do not sit for a whole week.
Conference also decided that former state governors and
their deputies are to be exempted from payment of
severance allowances, life insurance and payment of
It was also decided and adopted that each state of the
federation should have its own State Character
Commission to protect the interest of minority ethnic
groups in the state.
This implies that minority groups in the 36 states of
the federation would soon enjoy equal treatment in
appointments into public service of their different
Conference said its position is meant to address the
obvious restrictions to the application of the Federal
Character Principles at the state and local government
Conference also accepted the recommendation that
transfers into the directorate level of the civil
service from outside be prohibited while there should be
mandatory training as a basis for consideration for
promotion to the middle management level of the service.
It was also decided that there is need for the civil
service across the nation to operate common rules and
practices so that the citizenry is not confronted with
different procedures when dealing with each arm and tier
The Committee’s recommendation that retirement age for
civil servants, in line with what it calls international
best practice, be fixed at 65 or forty years of active
service; from the present practice of 60 years of age or
35 years of service was rejected by the Conference.
The argument was that those who have clocked 35 years in
service or were 60 years old should give opportunity to
younger ones with fresh ideas so that the service is not
Conference also accepted unanimously the Committee’s
recommendation for the creation of a separate Foreign
Service Commission with a chairman and six
commissioners, one of whom should be from each of the
six geo-political zones.
For the disabled persons, the Conference adopted the
Committee’s recommendation that efforts be made by
government at all levels to make public offices
disability-friendly by providing special access
facilities in line with international charters and
It was also agreed that government at all levels should
add allowances equivalent to Salary Grade Level 6 to the
pay of each of the Persons Living with Disability to
enable them employ an aide.
For efficiency in the public service, the Committee also
recommended appointment of Secretary to Government of
the Federation based on managerial capacity and rich
civil service experience which it said can only be
sourced from the pool of retired top civil servants.
It recommended the need to minimize disparities in the
public sector pay, particularly between political
appointees, public officers, civil servants and the
staff of parastatals while emphasizing a friction-free
relationship between the political leadership of
ministries, departments and agencies and their top civil
The Committee also asked the Conference to adopt its
suggestion that henceforth, no political appointee, from
ministers to commissioners and local government chairmen
should employ special advisers, special assistants, and
personal assistants or make any such appointments by any
Instead, as a cost saving measure, such political office
holders should utilize the staff of their ministries
where it becomes necessary, as contained in Circular
Reference Number B63833/73 of January 3, 2000.
As another cost-saving measure, the Committee
recommended amendment of Section 147(3) of the 1999
Constitution which demands appointment by the President
of at least one minister from each state of the
Instead, it asked that the section be reframed to
indicate that the President shall appoint not more than
one minister from each state of the federation.
This recommendation is expected to restrict the
President from appointing six more ministers from each
of the six geo-political zones as has been the practice
since the provision does not limit the president from
appointing more than one minister from a state.
Full implementation of the Integrated Personnel and
Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to ensure payroll
integrity and eliminate ghost workers in the civil
service, parastatals, the Legislature, the Judiciary,
the military and para-military was also recommended.
Describing the budget as a major tool for attaining
government’s socio-economic development objectives
through sectoral allocation of financial resources, the
committee said doubts have been raised recently on the
efficacy of budgets.
It said these concerns have led to the rethinking of
budgeting and financial management systems and has
constituted one of the major pillars of public service
Going further, the Committee said the essence of budget
reform and expenditure control is to make budget systems
more transparent and ensure a more strategic approach to
resource allocation and management.
In order to strengthen the budget performance and
expenditure management process, the Committee
recommended the establishment of a national framework
for monitoring and evaluating budget performance.
It also recommended that every Appropriation Bill sent
to the National Assembly should include key performance
indicators and effective sanctions for non-performance.
In the fight against corruption, the Committee tasked
anti-corruption agencies to ensure that every
anti-corruption fight addresses the root cause of
corruption such as poor remuneration in the public
service, lack of social security, degenerated value
system that encourages wealth accumulation and lack of
The report called for diligent prosecution of all cases
of corruption and, particularly, the creation of special
courts for speedy determination of corruption cases;
while also emphasizing the need for monitoring of the
lifestyle of public officers and enforcement of the
provisions of Code of Conduct Bureau.
On incentives for public servants, service welfare and
productivity, the Committee said the civil service is
simply bereft of any meaningful benefit, especially
since the implementation of the monetization policy.
It observed that retirees under the old pension scheme
have been exposed to a lot of hardships due to irregular
payment of pension and gratuity; a situation it said has
been compounded by non-compliance with the
constitutional provision for periodic review of pension.
In its recommendations, the Committee said anyone
indicted for corruption in relation to pension
administration should be promptly brought to justice.
The Committee urged the Conference to demand that
relevant sections of the Pensions Reform Act which
requires that investment of part of the funds from the
Contributory Pension Scheme in real estate sector to
boost availability of mortgage be adhered to.
It said operations of the National Health Insurance
Scheme be overhauled because contributors to the scheme
are currently left without coverage as their health
requirements and those of members of their families “are
just not being met under the Scheme.”
On labour issues and the minimum wage, the Committee
recommended that since the minimum wage is fixed at a
level just above the poverty line, and it is the duty of
the Federal Government to ensure that the pay of every
Nigerian is above the poverty line, it was necessary to
have it retained in the Exclusive Legislative.
It was the recommendation of the Committee that a new
sub-section be introduced in the 1999 Constitution that
would compel government to review public sector pay
every five years to take cognizance of trends in the
cost of living.
In addition, it said a new study of job content and pay
structure of both the public and the private sectors
should be swiftly undertaken to ensure that comparable
work in the public sector vis-à-vis the private sector
attracts comparable pay.
As a premise for harmonization of pay in the paraststals
and agencies with what obtains in the civil service, the
Committee called for immediate job evaluation in the
entire public service.
This, it stated, would not only restore relativity
between the pay in the parastatals and agencies vis-avis
that of the civil service, but is also capable of
reducing the size of the recurrent budget.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS
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