9 March 2016

Nigeria: Uproar Over Permanent Secretary's Tenure Extension in Petroleum Ministry

There is high tension in the Ministry of Petroleum following one year tenure extension granted to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Jamila Shu'ara, by the Federal Government.

Mrs Shu'ara was alleged to have retired from service on February 17, 2016, but seven days later, had her service extended to February 16, 2017 by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, OHSCF, for inexplicable reasons.

The extension of tenure is said to have violated Public Service Rules, PSR, 020810 which states that "the compulsory retirement age for grades in the service shall be 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier.

Already the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, has expressed surprise the extension and has rejected it, warning of its negative consequences.

Vanguard investigations revealed that Mrs. Shu'ara requested for the extension, claiming that since she had since last year been part of the organising committee of a oil and gas conference scheduled to hold next week in Abuja, her disengagement from service would affect the success of the programme.

The programme is the Sixth African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition, (CAPE VI) organised by African Petroleum Producers' Association, APPA, and to be hosted by Nigeria between March 15 and 17, 2016.

Though series of pre-conference meetings are currently ongoing in Abuja.

It was gathered her request for extension of service was granted and her disengagement from service extended by an additional one year.

According to the source "the extension is questionable as it should have been a six months extension. The decision to grant her extension for a year cannot be

Rejecting the extension, through a statement yesterday in Abuja, ASCSN President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and the Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, claimed the extension of tenure of the Permanent Secretary violated Public Service Rules, PSR, 020810 which states that: "the compulsory retirement age for grades in the service shall be 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier."

According to the ASCSN, the PSR equally emphasizes that: "no officer shall be allowed to remain in service after attaining the retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier."

The union contended that recently, some Permanent Secretaries were retired on the ground that they were not good enough; yet, Mrs Shu'ara who was supposed to retire with them had her tenure allegedly extended by one year.

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