Calls For The Promotion Of Merit Over Federal Character In Public Service


The Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Prof Tunji Olaopa, has called for the promotion of merit over federal character in public service.

Olaopa noted that the country’s civil service must abandon the practice of favouring federal character over merit, adding that getting the best from the civil service required a shift in this approach.

Speaking during a visit by the Nigeria Economic Society on Saturday in Abuja, he disclosed that efforts were ongoing to revitalise the entire system and elevate the intellectual capabilities of ministries, departments and agencies through a merit-based approach in the civil service.

He said, “We are working to reinforce the whole dynamics and to beef up the MDA’s IQ by reinventing meritocracy in the civil service. We want to deliberately rework to enforce the merit system; there should be a philosophical culture and guidelines.

We can’t continue to live in the British shadow of unwritten laws. Even the British civil service now has a public service act. We must leave behind the period where merit is sacrificed for a federal character; all of that has to stop to get the best out of the civil service.”

Olaopa said, “We are also addressing the issue of pay so that we can attract the best. We have engaged the wage commission on that.”

Earlier, the National President of the Nigeria Economic Society, Prof Adenikinju Adeola, lamented the dearth of trained economists in the ministries of finance, budget and economic planning, and trade, investment and Industry.

Adenikinju said, “These are ministries that should be populated by trained economists. It is just like having those who are not lawyers dominating the Ministry of Justice. We feel it’s very important that there should be some career level in these ministries that only trained economists should occupy.”