WE WOULDN’T WRITE ASSESSMENT TEST – CIVIL SERVICE DIRECTORS

ALL officers at the directorates in the civil service have unanimously rejected the competence assessment test scheduled for next Monday by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Stephen Oronsaye, and concluded that they were ready to be sacked rather than take part in the test.

Following the report of a meeting between the head of service and the seven-man committee earlier set up by the directors to resolve the crisis, the workers, backed by their union – the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN)–on Tuesday, declared total war on the head of service and resolved not to participate in the test because it was unconstitutional.

Hundreds of the workers, who gathered at the auditorium of the Ministry of Justice in Abuja, voted against the test, and in one accord said they were ready to lose their jobs rather than allow Mr Oronsaye to introduce a system which was not allowed by the rules and regulations in the civil service.

The head of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), ASCSN, Comrade Olorunfemi, and the chairman of the seven-man committee, Mr. Shemuel Moral, who briefed the workers on the outcome of their meeting, held on Monday with the head of service, said Mr. Oronsaye had insisted that the examination must go on.

Making their resolutions known, the workers, under the ASCSN, directed all the servants not to take part in the examination.

Besides, Comrade Olorunfemi said the union would use both the trade union and the legal options to stop the head of service, because the examination was unconstitutional.

He directed them not to participate in the Biometric Data Capturing which starts today in readiness for the test.

Comrade Olorunfemi said the association would picket the venue of the examination if the head of service insisted that it would go ahead, adding that the development would also be challenged in court because it was unconstitutional.

He said: “We are not new to the terrain. We faced the most dictatorial government with all its consultants. We confronted the Obasanjo government. You are the people we fear, are you going to be there for us?

“I came here with a mandate to know if you want to go for the examination or not and you have told us you don’t want competency test. We will employ both the trade union and legal options; the two will go together. We have the capacity to stop the exam on Monday; we are going to picket the venue if truly we are ready. It is our war; it is our battle we will fight it.”

He pointed out that the head of service did not have constitutional backing to organise such exam. He said it was the responsibility of the Federal Civil Service Commission in the first place to organise recruitment or promotional examination for the civil servants, especially at that level.

Mr. Moral, chairman of the committee, said their struggle was on principles, adding that there were rules and regulations governing appointments and promotions in the civil service.

He said: “This is a war; you don’t face a war laughing. In going to war you take a position. This battle we are embarking on, if you know you are not going to follow to the end, tell us. I want to continue with the fight and I want to know the people I am leading are ready.

“There must be a sacrificial lamb, for this to succeed and I am ready to be sacrificed and we must all say no to injustice.”

The workers have also sent a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate President, Mr David Mark, Speaker House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, on their decision.

They, however, resolved that all their actions would be peaceful.

However, the head of service has insisted that there is no going back on the post-training promotion test for the directors.

Mr Oronsaye faulted the demand by ASCSN for the cancellation of the re-sit of the competency assessment test for directorate level officers in the Federal Civil Service.

Speaking when he met with members of the association, led by the national president, Comrade Olakunle Olaitan, in Abuja, Mr. Oronsaye said the test, scheduled for Monday, August 9, would be held as planned.

The association had released a four-point communiqué calling for the cancellation of the re-sit of the competency test and that it should not be a pre-condition for promotion of deserving officers in the service.

But the head of service, in his response to the issues raised, said that the Post-Training Competency Test was never a promotion examination, but an effective instrument for screening candidates for promotion, which he said was the responsibility of his office.

He said further that he had always been saddened by the consistent complaints on the competency of officers in the civil service which, according to him, had affected service delivery and resulted in low productivity, saying, “while civil servants will want government to address salary increase and other welfare issues, they resist whenever the issues of competency and low productivity are being addressed.”

He called on civil servants to join in the efforts being made to build a service that will be a pride to the nation, while also explaining that the Specialised Mandatory Training Programme which preceded the test was well planned through several events which included a stakeholders’ forum and another for the review of modules.

He said further that the congestion experienced towards the end was due to the endemic error in staff data in the civil service.

It was, however, mutually agreed at the end of the deliberations that only officers who had good reasons why they needed to retake the training before sitting for the test could be granted such a request.

The head of service also approved that all officers who will be taking the re-sit test could take a week’s leave from official duties to prepare.

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Comments

  1. talking abt civil servants’ boycott of the test. do u know the kind of inhuman treatment these officers were subjected to at the last exercice? my feeling is that mr oronsaye is a sadist.he was lucky to have some godfathers to give him rapid promotions despite the fact that he joined the service barely 11 years ago, while those who joined before him are stiil assistant directors and deputies due to no fault of theirs.the officers are protesting for several reasons,1)apart from reasons giving by the union, the training program was a sham. it was just a means of syphoning all the money that the MDG office earmarked for human capacity building programmes. the whole thing was not planned. can u imagine where lecture rooms that were meant for 60 people were now made to handle 300 people?this meant that , during the training people were standing to have the so called lectures and the performance of the PAS was nothing to write home about. Only people in front could hear d lecture.infact the situatuation was much worse than what we had in my university days during G.S.101 lectures at UNN.We must remember most of these officers are above 50 years of age.Thirdly.no one told them there would be a test after d lectures till the last day.the test came barely 2 days after. Remember ,no accomodation ,so some officers slept in the lecture rooms.Infact 3 officers died during this exercise and one had a stroke – all due to the stressful condition.At this level the officers should have been treated in a dignified manner.I dont know what kind point Oronsaye wants to score b4 he retires in november!

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  2. waoo! they say power corrupts. she had better take it easy cos family is important o! o!

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