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Tinubu swears in 8 new permanent secretaries

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Wednesday swore in eight new permanent secretaries to fill existing and impending vacancies of some states and geo-political zones in the top administrative cadre of the Civil Service of the Federation.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the President’s spokesman, read their citations before they took the traditional oath of office.

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Ngelale said the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation embarked on a diligent selection process comprising a written examination, an ICT proficiency test and an interactive session with a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

He said at the end of the exercise, eight directors in the Federal Civil Service who scaled the hurdles were appointed as Permanent Secretaries.

One of the permanent secretaries sworn in was Dr Emanso Umobong, representing Akwa Ibom State, who obtained a Fellowship of the Medical College of Pathology (FMCpath), from the National Post-graduate Medical College of Nigeria.

Before joining the Federal Civil Service, Umobong was at various times a lecturer in the College of Medicine, University of Uyo; and College of Medicine, University of Abuja.

Her civil service career started in 2008 when she was employed as an Assistant Director and posted to the State House, where she rose to become a Director.

Also sworn in was Dr Emeka Obi, from Anambra State, who joined the Federal Civil Service on Feb. 5, 2001 as a Dental Officer Grade Level 12 in the State House, having obtained his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) Degree from the University of Lagos in 1997.

He rose through the ranks in the State House Medical Centre to become a Director in the Federal Civil Service in 2018.

Similarly, Fatima Mahmood, representing Bauchi State, who was sworn in alongside others, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and is a Fellow of the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA).

Prior to joining the service, she garnered invaluable experience in the finance sector as an agricultural specialist, where she honed her expertise in navigating the intricate intersection of finance and agriculture.

Other permanent secretaries sworn in by President Tinubu were: Mohammed Danjuma, Jigawa State; Olubunmi Olusanya, Ondo State; Maryam Ismaila Keshinro, Zamfara State; Chinyere Ijeoma Akujobi, Imo State and Christopher Isokpunwu, Edo State.

Danjuma was employed into the Federal Civil Service as Accountant II in 1993 and rose through the ranks to become a Director in 2021.

He was until his appointment, the Director (Finance and Accounts) in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Olusanya, a fellow of the Waste Management Society of Nigeria and a Member of the Nigerian Environmental Society, started his career as a Microbiologist with Sona Breweries Plc, Sango-Ota, Ogun State in 1993.

He later joined the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) in June 1996 as a Senior Environmental Scientist.

He was absorbed into the Federal Ministry of Environment in June 1999 upon the winding down of FEPA, and rose through the ranks to the position of Director on Jan. 1, 2019.

Keshinro joined the Federal Civil Service on Jan. 3, 2011 as Assistant Director/Consultant Paediatrician with the State House at State House Medical Centre Abuja, and rose to Director/Consultant Special Grade I on Jan 1, 2019.

She served as the Head of Paediatrics Department from 2011 to 2019.

Recognising her leadership abilities, she was elected Chairman of Clinical Services from 2015 to 2019.

Akujobi, until current her appointment, was the Director (Epidemiology) at the Department of Veterinary & Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Food Security, Abuja; and Director, World Trade Organisation Sanitary and Phytosanitary Enquiry Point (Animal Health) for Nigeria.

As a Chief Veterinary Officer, responsible for certification of animals and products of animal origin, Akujobi ensured that exported and imported animal products complied with international standards thus preventing rejections and introduction of animal diseases into the nation’s livestock population.

Isokpunwu’s career in the Federal Ministry of Health includes his most recent role as Director of Health Planning Research and Statistics, where he coordinated national health sector priorities and strategic plans.

He previously served as Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, Senior Technical Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Health, and National Coordinator of the National Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) Programme, leading significant health initiatives.

Dr Folasade Esan, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, said the newly sworn in permanent secretaries should realise that the responsibility of being a permanent secretary was a huge one, and a call to service to one’s nation.

“And so they should see that responsibility and deal with it with all diligence. They need to come in with a lot of fresh vigor and do their work to move the country forward.

“The role of the civil servants is very critical in ensuring that the President gets all the results that he needs. And the civil servants are key, and permanent secretaries being heads of the MDAs must, as a matter of fact, ensure that all the results that Mr President needs will be seen.

“They must make sure that if there are bottlenecks, they should do whatever they have to do so to achieve great results for our country, Nigeria,” said Esan.

One of the newly sworn in permanent secretaries, Obi, said the appointment was a national call to service to support the government in driving the reforms in the federal civil service and to help the president to achieve his mandate.

“So, we feel that is a very great privilege for the eight of us. So, I’ve been elected as permanent and secretary to serve our Motherland, as enshrined in the national anthem that this call to service.

NAN