By Dorcas Jonah
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have appealed to the Federal Government to shelve the planned ICT and written examination for the appointment of five permanent secretaries slated for May 31 and June 3.
The group under the aegis New Era for Sustainable Leadership and Accountability Initiative (NESLAI), led by its Executive Director, Edwin Olorunfemi, made the call at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the process to select five new permanent secretaries to replace the five retired ones in Ekiti, Katsina, Nasarawa, Enugu and Lagos States.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan said in a statement that 47 candidates were cleared to sit for a written examination to fill the five vacancy
It was, however, said that candidates would sit for written and Information Communications Technology (ICT) examinations to select the best five to fill the vacant posts.
The CSOs commended the head of service for the selection of the committee for the process of selection for the accreditation exercise for the appointment of the permanent secretaries.
They, however, faulted the procedure of sitting for written and ICT examination to select or appoint new permanent secretaries into federal ministries.
The group described the process of subjecting a director to ICT proficiency test in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint Application which was expected of the support staff, as laughable.
“If anything, it is making a mess of the candidates and the entire civil service.
“Our stand still remains that written and ICT examination slated for May 31 and June 3, be dropped.
”It is worthy of note that, for a civil servant to rise to the level of director, he/she must have sat for about 10 examinations from Grade level 08 to Grade level 17.
”On this backdrop, we are appealing to the Federal Government to drop the idea of written and ICT examination as it is tantamount to waste of time and resources.
“However, we request the government to appraise and appoint permanent secretaries on their past contributions as directors to national development.
”The written examination and ICT proficiency test of May 31 and June 3, be collapsed into oral interview and interactive session for the 47 successful accredited candidates.
”Candidates should be asked on-the-job questions and their achievement so far in their respective positions as directors.
”With this, the best three candidates from each state can be recommended to Mr President for the appointment,” he said.
Olorunfemi expressed hope that the Federal government would heed to the advice and act accordingly. (NAN)