The shape of the federal civil service, the engine room of government, appeared in greater clarity, Tuesday, as President Muhammadu Buhari fired 16 permanent secretaries, appointing 18 new ones and deploying a total of 36 permanent secretaries. If the deployments are anything to go by, the President might work with 25 ministries, seven less than the 32 that his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan operated, as 25 of the 36 permanent secretaries were deployed to ministries, while 11 were deployed to various offices in The Presidency, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), and Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). Ministries that may have been scrapped or merged with others include Aviation, Lands and Urban Development, Trade and Investment, Police Affairs, Youth Development, Interior, Tourism and Communication Technology.
Those appointed included Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, Alhaji Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Mr. Taiwo Abidogun, Dr. Bukar Hassan, Mrs. Wakama Belema Asifieka, Mr. Jalal Ahmad Arabi, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, Mrs. Obiageli Phyllis Nwokedi, Mr. Aminu Nabegu and Mr. Bamgbose Olukunle Oladele. Others include; Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, Mr. Ogbonnaya Innocent Kalu, Mrs. Nuratu Jimoh Batagarawa, Mr. Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, Mr. Bassey Akpanyung, Mr. Louis Edozien and Dr. Ugo Roy. In the same vein, the President also approved the deployment of the Permanent Secretaries as follows: Dr. Shehu Ahmad (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development); Arch. Sunday Echono (Federal Ministry of Communications); Alhaji Sabiu Zakari (Federal Ministry of Transportation); Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba (Federal Ministry of Information & Culture); Amb. Danjuma Sheni (Federal Ministry of Defence); Dr. Shade Yemi-Esan(Federal Ministry of Education) and Mrs. Fatima Mede( Budget & National Planning).
Also deployed to various ministries were Alhaji Mahmoud Isa Dutse (Federal Ministry of Finance); Amb. Bulus Lolo Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Dr. Amina Shamaki ( Federal Ministry of Health); Mr. Aliyu Bisalla (Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment); Mr. Bassey Akpanyung (Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs); Mr. Taiwo Abidogun (Federal Ministry of Justice); Dr. Habiba Lawal( Federal Ministry of Science & Technology); Dr. Clement Illoh (Fed. Min. of Labour & Productivity); Dr. Jamila Shu’ara (Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources); Mrs. Binta Bello (Fed. Min of Women Affairs); Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye (Federal Capital Territory); Mrs. Rabi Jimeta (Federal Ministry of Water Resources) and Dr. Bukar Hassan (Fed. Min of Environment). Others were (Mrs. Wakama B. Asifieka (Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs); Mr. Istifanus Fuktur (Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals); Mr. Christian Ohaa (Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports); Engr. A.G. Magaji (Federal Ministry of Works & Housing); Mr. Louis Edozien (Federal Ministry of Power).
Those deployed to other offices included Mr. Jalal Arabi (State House); Mr. Mohammed Bukar (General Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF); Mr. Abbas Mohammed (Ecological Fund Office, OSGF); Dr. Ugo Roy (Council Secretariat); Mr. Aminu Nabegu (Special Services Office, OSGF); Amb. Bamgbose Akindele (Political Affairs Office, OSGF); Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo (Economic Affairs Office, OSGF); Mrs. Obiageli Nwokedi (Special Duties Office, OSGF); Mr. Innocent Ogbonnaya (Career Management Office, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, OHCSF); Mr. S.K.Y. Adelakun (Common Services Office, OHCSF); Mrs. N. Batagarawa (Service Policy & Strategies Office, OHCSF”
A statement by presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina stated that the new appointments and deployments took immediate effect from November 10, 2015. By this development, about 16 of the permanent secretaries have been sacked. One of those affected is Mr. Linus Awute, the erstwhile Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health. It will be recalled that some of the old permanent secretaries led by the new Acting Head of Civil Service of the federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, held a closed door with the President earlier yesterday. At the meeting, it was gathered that the President intimated them of the sack gale. Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita in a statement, yesterday, confirmed that President Buhari during a meeting held with all permanent secretaries at the Presidential Villa in Abuja Tuesday, directed 16 permanent secretaries to proceed on retirement. Oyo-Ita said that while thanking the 16 perm secs for their meritorious service to the country, the President explained that the retirement, appointments and deployment of the Perm Secs were necessary to reposition the civil service.
Vanguard learned that ahead of unfolding the new structure today, President Buhari made it clear to the permanent secretaries that his administration did not need more than half of the existing ministries. According to the source, all permanent secretaries who had put in more than four years were dropped. Similarly, those known to have questionable records of service were also not spared the sweeping changes effected just after a valedictory meeting the permanent secretaries had with Buhari yesterday at the State House. The slash in the number of permanent secretaries is in line with the recommendations of the Ahmed Joda Transition Committee Report, which recommended that the Buhari administration should reduce the number of ministries and adopt cost-saving measures to revive the Nigerian economy. The Joda Committee had recommended that existing ministries should be pruned to only 19 while some Ministries, Departments and agencies, MDAs, not covered by law in Nigeria, should be scrapped.