EFCC, ICPC, DSS, Non-Government Actors Involved in PermSec Selection Process - Yemi-Esan

In an effort to promote transparency and ensure the integrity of the selection process for Permanent Secretaries, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, revealed that various government agencies and non-government actors are actively involved. This revelation was made during her keynote address at the 2023 Convocation Lecture of the University of Ibadan titled, “Promoting the Culture of Meritocracy: A Panacea for National Development.”

Dr. Yemi-Esan emphasized that the cross-agency collaboration between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), and the Department of State Services (DSS) plays a crucial role in ensuring that the selection process remains free from corruption and impropriety. She acknowledged that her personal attempt to compromise the process would be futile due to the comprehensive involvement of these organizations.

The ICPC Chairman, Mr. Bolaji Owasanoye, previously revealed during the National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service that many prospective permanent secretaries have been implicated in financial impropriety and other corrupt practices. In response to this revelation, the ICPC has been working closely with the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to crackdown on fake appointments and thoroughly screen candidates for these positions.

“The commitment of the Head of Service to clean up the stable by effective pre-appointment screening is commendable and ICPC will continue to play its part”, Owasanoye said.

Committed to tackling corruption head-on, the Head of Service commended the efforts of the ICPC, acknowledging their vital role in ensuring that only individuals with impeccable track records occupy such important government positions. Dr. Yemi-Esan drew inspiration from countries like India, Singapore, China, and Rwanda, where meritocracy is deeply ingrained within their public service systems. She highlighted the positive correlation between a meritocratic approach and economic growth, as seen in the higher tax revenue mobilization, reduced corruption, better public financial management, and overall economic development recorded in these countries.

During the Convocation Lecture, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, lauded Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan’s exceptional leadership and her relentless pursuit of meritocracy in the Federal Civil Service. He stressed the need for a meritocratic system at all levels of governance, emphasizing that it serves as a catalyst for rapid national development.

Also During the Lecture, the Vice-Chancellor highlighted Dr. Yemi-Esan’s outstanding academic achievements at the University of Ibadan, where she graduated as the top student in the Bachelor of Dental Surgery program. Additionally, the Vice-Chancellor and the Faculty of Dentistry commended Dr. Yemi-Esan for her notable contributions to public service, presenting her with various accolades.

With the involvement of key agencies such as the EFCC, ICPC, and DSS, alongside non-government actors, Nigeria is revolutionizing its selection process for Permanent Secretaries. This collaborative effort seeks to ensure that only the best and most deserving individuals are appointed to these crucial positions, bringing the promise of a better-governed nation.

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