On Wednesday, August 16, the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo formally inaugurated two ministers and 15 permanent secretaries into the federal civil service.
The inauguration took place at the commencement of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council held inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The inauguration comes after the appointment of 21 eligible candidates.
The two ministers sworn in during the ceremony are Stephen Ocheni and Suleiman Hassan. While Mr Ocheni is now the Minister of State for Labour, Mr Hassan has been sworn in as the second minister of state in the Ministry Of Power, Works and Housing.
Mr Ocheni, a native of Kogi State, replaces the late James Ocholi who died in a car crash last year.
Mr Hassan, who hails from Gombe State, is set to take the place of Amina Mohammed who is now serving as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The permanent secretaries inaugurated to occupy the various positions are as follows: Ehuria Georgina Ekeoma (Abia) – Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation; Akpan Edet Sunday (Akwa Ibom) – Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Anagbogu Ifeoma Nkiruka ((Anambra) – Ministry of Women Affairs; and Walson-Jack Didi Esther (Bayelsa) – Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
More include: Gekpe George Isu (Cross River) – Ministry of Information and Culture; Aliboh Leon Lawrence (Delta) – Budget and National Planning; Uwaifo Osarenona Clement (Edo) – Ministry of Health; Folayan Ayodele Olaniyi (Ekiti) – Office of the Head of Service of the Federation; Abdullahi Abdulazeez (Katsina) – Ministry of Communications; and Adebiyi Bolaji Adekunle (Lagos) – Ministry of Labour and Productivity.
Others are Ibrahim Musa Wen (Nasarawa) – Ministry of Water Resources; Odewale Samson Olajide (Ogun) – Office of the Head of Service of the Federation; Adesola Olusade (Ondo) – Ministry of Youths and Sports; Umar Mohammed Bello (Sokoto) – Office of the Secretary to the Federation and Gabriel Tanimu (FCT) – Office of the Secretary of the Federation.
However, the appointment and now inauguration of the permanent secretaries followed a week-long rigorous examination of 300 Federal Directors at Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
Over 200 of the 300 Directors earlier shortlisted for interviews and verification for the 21 vacant positions of Federal Permanent Secretaries failed to scale the hurdle for the final stages of the exercise.
After 100 scaled through to the verification of credentials stage, only 78 were scheduled to sit for the “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Assessment Test” held at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) Utako, Abuja.
The 78 successful directors then proceeded to the written examination stage held at the National Defense College (NDC) Auditorium Abuja. The examination was on “Relevant Public Service and Policy Issues.”
The successful candidates then proceeded to the third and final level of “Oral Interview/Interactive Session” at the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of Federation in Abuja.
In line with the federal character principle, one permanent secretary is appointed per state as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).