President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday preached the virtues of brokenness and selflessness as he inaugurated the new Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Danladi Kifasi.
Jonathan made the call during a brief ceremony, which also coincided with the swearing in of a member of Federal Commission representing Abia/Imo Constituency at the Civil Service Commission, Chima Odunze, urged the Head of Service to continue the reforms started by his predecessor and bring his wealth of experience to bear in the discharge of his duties.
He said his little interaction with some public officers is that they handle government affairs based on what they think and not on standard practice, saying this must stop forthwith.
President Jonathan stressed the importance of the civil service to federal government’s success in its rendering developmental gains to the people.
He said, “Incidentally, the two people that took oath of office have to do with management of the Civil Service of the Federation, this is critical. For any government to do well the civil service is the fulcrum, it’s the centre of activities and for us to succeed as a nation there must be absolute discipline and proper conduct in the civil service. That is why your jobs are quite challenging but from your antecedents both of you are quite conversant with the operations of the civil service. We believe that you will bring your wealth of experience to bear as you manage the civil service.
“People must handle government affairs as government affairs, not personal. My observation with people from the little period I have been working in government is that a number of people handle things based on their thinking, not based on the standard practice. There must be standard practice and your own experience will add to that to make you succeed. But when people keep away from the standard practice and decide to do what they think is right or what they think is wrong then of course you cannot succeed. When we talk. We talk about bureaucracy in the service, the idea is to make sure that things are properly done and they minimise errors.
“For example if you advise Mr. President wrongly and he puts his signature on something the effect of that is critical and that is why before the President should endorse something or a Minister should endorse something, that thing must have been properly filtered by responsible officers.
“Over the period people decide to do things dishonestly, there is high degree of impunity and misconduct. We charge you as you are coming to handle this responsibility to make sure that the reform in the civil service, of course reform is a continues process it is not a one-off thing. We started talking about reforms from the days of Obasanjo till today, but we still notice some aberrations and we believe that as the new Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, make sure that things are done properly.
“Your predecessors did very well. I have worked with so many heads of service from when I became the Vice President till now, I think about four or so, I think you are the fifth person, they all did wonderfully well and I believe you will improve on that”.
Kifasi took over from former Head of Service, Bukar Goni Aji, who left office on Monday after attaining the mandatory 60 years of age.