President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita and has approved the appointment of Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan as the Acting HoCSF with immediate effect.
This is as the President also approved the extension of the tenure of seven retiring Permanent Secretaries for a period of one calendar year with effect from 1st October 2019 to ensure stability in the Federal Civil Service.
These were contained in a circular titled “Stabilization of the Federal Civil Service” issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
A statement on Wednesday night in Abuja and signed by the Director, Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Willie Bassey, said the removal of Mrs. Oyo-Ita was to allow for the conclusion of the investigation being carried out by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr. Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan as the Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation with immediate effect.
“Dr. Mrs. Yemi-Esan, who is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources takes over from Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, who has been directed to proceed on an indefinite leave to allow conclusion of the investigation being carried out by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” the statement read.
The 55-year old Mrs. Oyo-Ita, who is being probed by the EFCC over alleged N3bn contract scam, dominated the nation’s political discourse and overshadowing other national developments.
She was invited by the anti-graft agency and granted an administrative bail after being grilled by top EFCC officials led by its acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
On the extension granted some Permanent Secretaries, the statement listed the affected Permanent Secretaries as Mrs. Georgina Ehuriah, Ministry of Interior; Mrs. Ifeoma I. Anagbogu, Ministry of Women Affairs; Mrs. Grace Gekpe, Ministry of Information and Culture; Dr. Umar M. Bello, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Suleiman Mustapha Lawal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mrs. Comfort C. Ekaro, Ministry of Water Resources; and Mr. Olusegun A. Adekunle, General Services Office (GSO), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
“Similarly, Mr. President has directed the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to commence the process for the selection of new Permanent Secretaries to replace all retiring Permanent Secretaries.
“The decision of Government to extend the tenure of these Permanent Secretaries is premised on the need to ensure that the new Ministers are properly guided, briefed about their sectors and to ensure that a solid foundation is laid for the delivery on the Presidential Mandate which they jointly signed,” the circular stated.
It said the Permanent Secretaries will also help the Ministers to manage the process for the preparation of the 2020 Budget in line with the commitment of government to return to the January-December budget circle and help develop various policies and programmes aimed at lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
It said the action of Mr. President is in exercise of the powers conferred on him under Section 171 (2) d of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).