A group under the auspices of the New Era for Sustainable Leadership and Accountability Initiative, NESLAI, has urged the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, to shelve the planned written and ICT examination for selection/appointment of Permanent Secretaries into Federal Ministries.

The group in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by its Executive Director, Comrade Edwin Olorunfemi, said the decision to subject top government officers to such scrutiny is laughable.

While advising the government to drop the process which is scheduled to hold between May 31 and June 3, NESLAI stressed that the process would be “tantamount” to a waste of time.

The group instead, suggested that an oral interview and interactive session be conducted for the 47 successful accredited candidates from Ekiti, Enugu, Katsina, Lagos and Nasarawa states.

“Fortnight ago, we made critical observation and objective suggestions on the ongoing process by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHCSF) to select/appoint new Permanent Secretaries into Federal ministries. Our main observation was on the selection examination process, which the first stage (accreditation) has been concluded.

“However, our stand still remains that written and ICT examination slated for Monday 31st May and Thursday 3rd June, 2021 respectively be dropped because, 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.

“What is laughable is subjecting a Director to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) proficiency test in Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point Application which is expected of the support staff. If anything, it is making a mess of the candidates and the entire civil service.

“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 requested the government to appraise and appoint Permanent Secretary on their past contributions as Directors to national development.

“Experience and competence are values in public service that remain the most viable vehicles to quality leadership and not an elementary computer skills assessment as planned by the OHCSF. The position of a Permanent Secretary is not a support staff position where the need for basic knowledge of computer applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are required,” its statement read.

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