By Rita Iliya
The immediate past Secretary to the State Government in Niger (SSG), Alhaji Ahmed Matane, has advised Gov. Umar Bago to appoint a retired permanent secretary as the next SSG.
He said this during a farewell event organised for him by the permanent secretaries and staff of the office of the SSG on Thursday in Minna.
Matane said SSG’s office required “a public servant that understand the dynamics of public service and has a good background and pedigree to pilot the affairs of the office.
“Knowing the importance and the work of the SSG office as the engine room that coordinates the affairs of government, you will know that the office requires a public servant that understands the dynamics of public service.
“But if you bring somebody from outside who does not understand how a department or ministry works, it becomes difficult”.
He said that the SSG must be someone who understands how to coordinate all activities of government and drive government policies and programmes as well as knowledge of how Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) work.
Matane also advocated that the appointment of permanent secretaries should be based on merit, adding that lobbying for the position of permanent secretaries was against the public service rules.
He, however, appreciated the permanent secretaries and staff of the SSG office for the farewell send-forth and thanked them for the support that made the office to function effectively.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, General Services, Alhaji Musa Ibrahim, described the former SSG as a teacher and guardian who gave the permanent secretaries under his office and staff a free hand to operate.
“Matane is the only person in the state that allow his permanent secretaries to operate at free will, we will miss his openness, simplicity and open door policy and his accessibility,” he said.
He added that through the former SSG, the office witnessed tremendous reform and development which impacted to the development and progress of the state through adequate coordination of MDAs.
Alhaji Ahmed Gunna, the Emir of Kagara, who was represented by Dr Chindo Bisallah, described Matane as someone who stood for and protected many people, adding that his wise counsel would be greatly missed.
In their separate remarks, some permanent secretaries and staff like Alhaji Abubakar Balarabe, Permanent Secretary Economy Affairs, Baba Wachiko and Prof. Mustapha Zubairu, described Matane as a hardworking and an achiever that contributed to the growth and development of the state.(NAN)