Gov Mohammed Restructures Zamfara Government : Read Full Detail
Governor Bello Muhammed of Zamfara state has restructured the the state government machinery through a white paper on the report of a committee eon the restructuring of Zamafara state civil service.
Below is the full speech of the governor on the restructuring:
2. It becomes pertinent for me to address you in relation to the Whitepaper on the report of the Committee for Restructuring of Zamfara State Civil Service.
3. We are all aware of the critical role of the civil service in the implementation of public policies and programmes. Civil service across the globe is designed to serve as a machinery of the government, through which public expectations are met. It is crucial to the realisation of the central objective of governance, which is meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
4. When I assumed office as the Governor of Zamfara State, I realised that there is the need to restructure the civil service to make it more responsive to the public desire for greater efficiency and in line with the principles of best practice.
5. I, therefore, set up a Committee made up of people of eminent repute to review the civil service structure, map out procedures that will ensure optimal performance and greater productivity, and make appropriate recommendations. While inaugurating the Committee, we urged it to take into account the primacy of public interest. The Committee submitted its report on the 9th of October 2019, and I immediately appointed a Whitepaper Committee to evaluate the report and come up with appropriate positions of the government.
6. The Committee for the Whitepaper had completed its assignment and submitted a report covering the various issues raised by the Restructuring Committee.
The Committee made far reaching decisions and recommendations which include:
i. Restructuring of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies;
ii. Review of the criteria for appointment of Permanent Secretaries and Directors General;
iii. Assessment of the existing Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service;
iv. Review of the structure of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies;
v. Review of schedules and responsibilities of MDAs; and
vi. Improved conditions of service, among others.
7. The Government studied the recommendations and accepted them with modifications. Accordingly, Government has approved the following ministries:
i. Ministry of Justice;
ii. Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources;
iii. Ministry of Investment, Business Development, and Tourism;
iv. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology;
v. Ministry of Environment, Mines, and Solid Minerals;
vi. Ministry of Finance;
vii. Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning;
viii. Ministry of Rural Development and Cooperatives;
ix. Ministry of Security and Home Affairs;
x. Ministry of Religious Affairs;
xi. Ministry of Water Resources;
xii. Ministry of Youths Empowerment and Skills Acquisition;
xiii. Ministry of Information;
xiv. Ministry for Local Governments and Community Development;
xv. Ministry of Works and Transport;
xvi. Ministry of Health; and
xvii. Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare
7. Similarly, in addition to the existing Directorates, Government has approved the establishment of the following new Directorates and Bureaus:
i. Directorate of Housing and Urban Development;
ii. Directorate of Lands and Survey;
iii. Directorate of Chieftaincy Affairs;
iv. Directorate of Humanitarian Affairs, and Disaster Management;
v. Directorate of Intercommunity Relations;
vi. Bureau for Public Procurement;
vii. Bureau for Public Service Reform;
8. Another crucial issue addressed by the report is that of the number of our permanent secretaries vis a vis our scarce resources. All assessments have shown that our state has a far greater number of permanent secretaries than any of our sister states in the north-west. With 47 permanent secretaries, the system has become saturated and overburdened. The Restructuring Committee, therefore, invited all the existing permanent secretaries and six others whose appointments were reversed by the past administration and subjected them to a written test and interview in order to assess their competence.
9. Based on the outcome of the assessment, only 26 qualified for retention as permanent secretaries. The State Government appreciates the strategy adopted by the Committee in conducting this important exercise and consequently accepted the following permanent secretaries for the State Civil Service:
10. As for the permanent secretaries who did not qualify for retention, Government would consider those found eligible for appointment as career Directors General, Managing Directors, Executive Secretaries, Secretaries and other appropriate positions in the State Civil Service.
11. Details on other recommendations and guidelines on a wide range of issues relating to the civil service accepted or modified by the Government would be communicated to the public by the Secretary to the State Government, and the Head of Service in due course.
12. I would like to stress that the restructuring exercise is done in good faith, taking into consideration the best interest of our people and the state. The decisions made are no doubt painful, but necessary, if we are to propel our civil service to higher productivity and responsiveness to the development needs of our people. My utmost desire as a leader is to do my best to address the various development challenges confronting our state, and reposition the state to take its rightful position in the comity of the states of the federation. I believe that is the mission that Allah, Who has brought me to steer the affairs of the state at this point in its history, has decreed for me. I will, therefore, not relent on efforts to fix our state.
13. My administration has been passionate about the welfare of civil servants. Shortly after my assumption of office, we resumed payment of annual Leave Grant to the civil servants, which has been stopped for over six years. Recently, Government paid our primary school teachers over six hundred million naira (N600 million) which was retrieved from pension fund administrators.
Let me assure the State and Local Government employees that the pension fund administrators that fail to release the funds domiciled with them, Government is determined to take all necessary measures to retrieve the funds and refund the contributors in both the State and Local Government services.
14. As a further step to reform pension administration in the state, a law has been enacted which streamlined Local and State Pension Commissions into Zamfara State Pension Board. People of high integrity are currently being considered for appointment into the Board for a more transparent and accountable pension fund administration in the state.
15. In order to sustain the cordial relations between the Government and trade and labour unions, my administration will establish a Directorate for Labour Matters, to be headed by a Special Adviser. The Directorate will have the mandate to handle all matters of Government – Labour relations with to view to ensuring harmonious industrial relations in the state. We would also establish a Directorate for Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution to take care of political disputes and other communal crises in the society.
16. Another issue raised by the Whitepaper is that of befitting office accommodation for the Deputy Governor and the Head of Service. Already, work has commenced to provide a suitable office for the Deputy Governor, while that of the Head of Service and the offices under him would soon start.
17. My fellow citizens, as you are aware, Government is trying its best to address the security challenges in the state. You are all aware of our successes in this regard within the past five months. Government is currently working on a law to establish a State Security Trust Fund to consolidate further our achievements in ensuring a peaceful Zamfara State. Through this fund, Government would provide operational vehicles, the needed equipment for communication and surveillance, as well as improved allowances for security personnel, among others.
18. As part of our holistic approach, we believe achieving lasting peace and security is tied to other equally crucial matters such as employment generation. We have since already signed an agreement with Africa Export-Import Bank for an investment of $1 billion into the critical sectors of our state’s economy such as mining and agriculture.
The investments would also cover areas such as infrastructure for rail transportation, airport, hotels, modern abattoir, and Ruga project. Similarly, the funds would be utilized to promote skills acquisition across the State. We are making concerted efforts to partner with German investors and experts in this regard.
19. We have already approved establishment of a programme called Zamfara Comprehensive Development Programme (ZACODEP), which will ensure prudent and effective management and utilization of the funds.
20. My administration is equally determined to partner with indigenous investors to develop the state’s economy further and create bountiful opportunities for our teeming population. The Government is making the necessary arrangement to stage an investment forum for indigenous businessmen and women. This is with a view to bringing more hands into the efforts of economic transformation of the state, and generating employment opportunities for your youth.
21. Before I end this broadcast, on behalf of the people and Government of Zamfara State, I wish to offer our most profound appreciation to the members of the Zamfara State Civil Service Restructuring Committee and the Whitepaper Committee for their remarkable patriotism. The thorough work done by the Committee would serve as a reference point in matters relating to Zamfara State Civil Service for a long time to come. I assure them that Government would continue to seek for their advice whenever the need arises.
22. Finally, I would like to use this opportunity to thank our people for your goodwill and prayers. I call on you to continue to pray for sustenance of peace and progress in the state.