Umahi suspends 5 permanent secretaries for 6 months

Governor David Umahi:

By Chukwuemeka Opara

Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi on Wednesday suspended five permanent secretaries in the state civil service for six months over alleged lack of commitment to duties.

Umahi made the disclosure while swearing in 11 reappointed commissioners, several old and new Special Assistants and Senior Special Assistants.

The governor announced that the affected permanent secretaries who would be sent for retraining were those in charge of the ministries of health, education, communication, sports and solid minerals.

“The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and the commissioner for human capital development should organise six months training for them which I would sponsor.

“They should be taught what a permanent secretary is, how to prepare memorandum and how to take responsibilities in their ministries.

“The SSG and the acting Head of Service should identify ministries without permanent secretaries and fill such positions with the most intelligent official in such ministries.

“The official can be on grade level 10 but would be promoted to level 14 because I need help in the ministries,” he said.

He noted that underperforming permanent secretaries would henceforth be demoted by two grade levels and disengaged from the system.

“The permanent secretary is the real owner for the ministry and the issue with the suspended ones was not dullness but lac of commitment,” he said.

Umahi congratulated the newly-sworn in commissioners and noted that he would admonish them during the state executive council meetings.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that nine out of the 11 sworn-in commissioners retained their positions, while two were assigned new portfolios.

The commissioners include: Chief Clement Nweke-housing and urban development, Mrs Ann Aligwe—human capital development, Mr Charlse Akpuenika-youth development and sports and Mrs Chinwe Okah—women affairs.

Mrs Chioma Nweze was retained as commissioner for investment, Chief Emmanuel Uguru-lands and survey. Mr Oluchukwu Ukie-Ezeali–project monitoring, Mrs Elizabeth Ogbaga—culture and tourism and Chief Ogodo-Ali Nome—agriculture and natural resources.

Mr Eze Nwachukwu was assigned the commissioner for market and park development while Mr Joseph Ekuma-Nkama takes charge of inter-governmental affairs.

Chief Clement Nweke, Commissioner for Housing thanked the governor for reappointing them and pledged to redouble their loyalty and commitment to the cause of governance