A Group, New Era for Sustainable Leadership and Accountability has faulted the tenure extension for the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris which they said is counterproductive and against the Civil service rule as well
Speaking at a Press briefing In Abuja on Friday Executive Director of NESLAI, Comrade Edwin Olorunfemi said just like the extra years spent by the immediate past Service Chiefs yielded nothing to solving the insecurity issues in the country the tenure elongation for the Accountant General is of no good.
He also said, “Our focus now is on tenure elongation or extension of public servants in Nigeria which we beg to say has yielded no positive result other than serving the interest of some few individuals benefiting from such anomaly.
“Of current importance to NESLAI is the tenure extension of Ahmed Idris, the Accountant General of the Federation who reached the Mandatory retirement age in November 2020.
“For instance, the extra years spent by immediate past Service Chiefs yielded nothing to solving the insecurity issues in the country.
“Going by the extant rules governing Nigerian civil service, the Accountant General should have retired and handed over to the next ranking officer in his replacement.
“But the Accountant General is still holding on to his seat and enjoying all the benefits claiming the appointments is tenured.”
“The Accountant General has been a career civil servant and all the 15 Accountant Generals before him served for 35 years or reached retirement age of 60 years. Ahmed Idris is a civil servant and must be bound by the civil service rules.
“The continued stay in office by the Accountant General negates the principle of succession plan, which implies quality grooming of a subordinate by a leader creating a smooth transference of leadership roles and maintaining sustainable leadership in public service.
“Moreover, like many of the sit-tight leaders in the country, the current Accountant General has not done anything spectacular to justify his tenure extension because if his predecessors had taken that route, he would not have gotten to this height.
“Additionally, his continuous stay contradicts the circular from the Office of the Head of Service to all agencies of the Nigerian Government which says “For avoidance of doubt and in order to maintain discipline and integrity, the extant public service rule which prescribes 60 years of age or 35 years of service for mandatory retirement should strictly be complied with.
He said a situation where Civil Servant who head government Agency or become Permanent Secretary would perpetuate him/herself in office and refuse to retire is gradually destroying the service and also demoralizing career civil servants as it denies them their career progression.
“Besides ensuring prompt availability of appropriated funds to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Office of Accountant General of the Federation is central to achievement of governments’ development goals and socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians because of its fund mobilization and public finance management roles.
“Therefore, the position of AGF is a sacred one and demands transparent and compliance to extant rules and orders that govern Nigerian public service. On this backdrop, NESLAI faults the process of extending the tenure of the Accountant General of the Federation and tags it as illegal.”
According to him, the bane of the Nigerian national development has been bad leadership which he said must be put right.