The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan, has revealed that some permanent secretaries and directors employed by the federal government cannot operate a computer.
Dr Yemi-Esan made this disclosure while responding to the controversy surrounding the examinations and appointments of permanent secretaries at a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.
While reassuring that the permanent secretaries passed through a rigorous process of examination before their appointments, she explained that their appointments were based on merit and that “there are no preferred candidates.”
The HOCSF explained that some directors who were due for the examinations complained about the introduction of computer-based tests as many of them could not operate computers which she said was difficult for her to comprehend how directors and permanent secretaries could not operate computers.
According to her, the office of the HOCSF used to set questions a day before the exams without the candidates or examiners knowing about it.
“If the service is going digital, and permanent secretaries who are supposed to lead the digitisation process don’t know how to operate computers, how can we not say that the public service is confused?” explained Mrs Yemi-Esan. “How are they going to lead by example? That is the first thing.”
She said Buhari’s administration embarked on the digitisation of the civil service and it is expected that all civil servants must be able to operate computers adding that her office involved security agents during the setting and the marking of the exams to ensure that there was no malpractice.
On the issue of some MDAs not applying the civil service rules in some aspects of their operations, Mrs Yemi-Esan said any worker affected had the right to petition her office.
“In office of the HOCSF, we don’t know the details of what is happening in your parastatals and your agencies except when you draw our attention to it,” she stressed. “If you don’t draw our attention, we cannot know about it; that is the only way we are going to pay attention to whatever thing that is happening there.”