40 directors fail qualifying exam for permanent secretary positions

In a recent development, 40 out of 92 directors have failed the qualifying examination for appointment to the position of permanent secretaries, scoring below the required 50 percent pass mark.

The examination, held on May 27, 2024, also saw three directors absent and one unable to complete the test.

A memo dated May 28, 2024, from the Office of the Head of Service, identified as “HCSF/CMO/AOD/012/IX/59,” announced that the next stage of the selection process would involve an ICT-based test.

The Federal Government, through the Office of the Head of Civil Service, initiated this process to fill vacancies for permanent secretaries in various states, including Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Ondo, and Zamfara, as well as the South-East and South-South regions.

Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, detailed these developments in a circular sent to key government officials, including the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

The circular, referenced “HCSF/CMO/AOD/012/IX/24” and dated April 19, 2024, specified that only directors who had achieved substantive director status by January 1, 2022, were eligible for consideration.

According to the memo, “Following the approval of Mr. President, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is initiating the process for appointing Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service for current and anticipated vacancies in Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Ondo, Zamfara states, South-East, and South-South geo-political zones, where current Permanent Secretaries have retired or will retire between April and September 2024.”

Eligibility criteria include reaching the position of substantive Director on Salary Grade Level 17 by January 1, 2022, updating records on the IPPIS Verification Portal, being from the specified states or geopolitical zones, and not retiring before December 31, 2025. Officers currently undergoing disciplinary procedures are excluded from the selection process.

As the selection process advances to the ICT-based test, the focus will be on ensuring that only the most qualified and prepared candidates are chosen to fill these critical roles within the Federal Civil Service.

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