Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF) has revealed that there are permanent secretaries and directors in the employ of the federal government who cannot operate a computer.
Ms Yemi-Esan disclosed this at a media briefing with editors and correspondents of media houses on Wednesday in Abuja while responding to the controversy surrounding the examinations and appointments of permanent secretaries.
She reassured that examinations of permanent secretaries before their appointments passed through rigorous processes.
She explained that their appointments were based on merit and that “there are no preferred candidates.” Ms Yemi-Esan explained that some directors due for the examinations were always complaining about the introduction of computer-based tests as many of them were unable to operate computers.
The head of the civil service said it was difficult for her to understand how directors and permanent secretaries could not operate computers.
According to her, the office of the HOCSF used to set questions a day to 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 Ms Yemi-Esan. “How are they going to lead by example? That is the first thing.”
According to her, President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime embarked on the digitisation of the civil service and all civil servants are expected to be able to operate computers.
Ms Yemi-Esan said her office, in order to ensure that there was no malpractice, involved security agents during the setting and the marking of the exams.
On the issue of some MDAs not applying the civil service rules in some aspects of their operations, Ms Yemi-Esan said any worker affected had the right to petition to 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.”