After rejecting her resignation, Buhari removes Head of Service, appoints replacement

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Winifred Oyo-Ita

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally removed Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, as Head of Civil Service.

This is coming about 27 days after the voluntary resignation of Mrs Oyo-Ita was rejected by the president.

She indicated interest to step down over a fraud allegation levelled against her. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is said to be investigating her involvement in a contract scam to the tune of N3 billion.

The Director Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, who made the announcement in a statement late Wednesday said the accused has been sent on an indefinite leave pending the outcome of the investigation by the anti-graft agency.

Mr Bassey said the president has directed that Mrs. Yemi-Esan, who is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources takes over from Mrs. Oyo-Ita, in acting capacity.

The president also gave his nod for the extension of the tenure of seven retiring Permanent Secretaries for a period of one calendar year with effect from 1st October, 2019 to ensure stability in the Federal Civil Service and effective delivery on the nine priority areas of the administration as well as the mandates given to the new Ministers.

The affected Permanent Secretaries are: Mrs. Georgina Ehuriah (Ministry of Interior), Mrs. Ifeoma I. Anagbogu (Federal Ministry of Women Affairs), Mrs. Grace Gekpe (Federal Ministry of Information & Culture), Dr. Umar M. Bello (Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development), Suleiman Mustapha Lawal (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Mrs. Comfort C. Ekaro (Federal Ministry of Water Resources) and Mr. Olusegun A. Adekunle – General Services Office (Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation).

According to the statement, the decision of Government to extend the tenure of these Permanent Secretaries is premised on the need to ensure that the new Ministers are properly guided, briefed about their sectors and to ensure that a solid foundation is laid for the delivery on the Presidential Mandate which they jointly signed. 

The Permanent Secretaries will also help the Ministers to manage the process for the preparation of the 2020 Budget in line with the commitment of Government to return to the January-December budget circle and help develop various policies and programmes aimed at lifting 100million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

Similarly, Mr. President has directed the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to commence the process for the selection of new Permanent Secretaries to replace all retiring Permanent Secretaries. 

“The action of Mr. President is in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 171 (2) d of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” the statement read