Wike empanels commission for ‘fire brigade’ employment exercise

By Chris Ezeonoh, Port Harcourt

Less than 90 days to the end of his administration, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Monday swore-in members of the State Civil Service Commission with a charge to commence and conclude employment of 10,000 Rivers youths into the state civil service as well as oversee the promotion of civil servants across all levels within one month.

The commission which was sworn in at Government House, Port Harcourt has Sir. Clifford Ndu Walter as the chairman with Venerable Richard Okpara, Barr. Osima Gina, Sir. John Pascal Nali and Chief Mike Elechi as members.

Wike who stressed that the assignment is not political warned members of the commission against using their offices to witch hunt anybody but should make sure that they do a thorough work.

The governor explained that when the new Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) leadership in the State paid him a courtesy visit last week at the Government House, he disclosed to them that the former NLC leadership was hostile towards the State, and made meaningful discussion almost impossible.

“Leadership can bring about progress. Leadership can bring about setbacks. Unfortunately, the then leadership of Labour was very hostile to the government and so we felt that we have to tarry for a while. Now that we have a leadership that is willing to work with the government, those problems are now a thing of the past.

“So, you are to immediately start the promotion of our civil servants and compute the financial implications of that promotion, all levels of civil servants, no one should be discriminated against”, the governor stated.

On the employment of the ten thousand Rivers youths into the civil service, Governor Wike told the commission to open up the process to allow more applicants to apply.

He also reminded the commission to take cognizance of the fact that some persons had applied earlier when the government called for applications.

Wike urged them to write to every ministry and request their manpower requirements which will guide them in the employment exercise.

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The governor stressed that it is employment into the State Civil Service and every local government area must be accommodated and reflected in the personnel that will be engaged.

“And then, you must set up the necessary machinery for the immediate employment of our teeming youths. This should be done within the next one month, everything concluded.

“But let me warn you, and I have always said so, it is not for you to use it to witch hunt anybody.

“One of the things I’ve found out, is I know people are looking for employment, but it must be done and thoroughly well and every local government must benefit from it because it is employment to the civil service. It is not employment to companies, no”, he insisted.

It would be recalled that there has been an outcry from civil servants in the state over non-promotion for almost eight years since the Wike administration came on board.

The same situation applies to employment into the civil service where for almost eight years, employment has not been done, despite scores that are being retired from the civil service.

Observers say Wike is playing smart by seeking to conduct both promotion and employment of civil servants at the same time when he would almost have no responsibility for the welfare and upkeep of the incoming civil servants and those that would be promoted.

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