President Goodluck Jonathan, stated this at the Send-off Dinner organised in honour of the immediate past Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOS), Alhaji Isa Bello Sali, which held on Tuesday in Abuja.
The President, who was represented by the Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, noted that meaningful growth and development has direct relations with the quality of the Civil Service said “this underscores our commitment to bequeathing a vibrant, responsive and effective Civil Service that will stand the test of time.”
He tasked the Service to continue to review itself to meet with the challenges of modern trends in management and also in order to provide the necessary support for the political leadership.
President Jonathan expressed delight with the tradition of the Civil Service for rewarding excellence, stressing that his administration would continue to be associated with the initiative, adding that “when such recognitions are made for service excellence, they confirm the responsiveness of Government to strive for greater efficiency and service. This is the hallmark of good governance.”
The President congratulated the former Head of Service, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali for being celebrated by his immediate constituency, observing that “to appreciate a man after service goes a long way to demonstrate his invaluable contributions while in active service.” He acknowledged that over the period of his stewardship as Head of Service, Alhaji Sali had demonstrated courage and commitment in implementing various reforms aimed at renewing and reinvigorating the service. The President, therefore, urged him to continue to proffer valuable advice to the Service on best human and material management practices.
Speaking earlier the incumbent Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji, said it was the tradition of the Service to celebrate its retiring officers. He noted the invaluable contributions of Alhaji Bello Sali throughout his years in the Civil Service.
He stated that in order to deliver on the tenets of President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, the Civil Service had commenced a peer review programme among Permanent Secretaries, to enable it remain focused and loyal, while implementing programmes. He disclosed that the programme was aimed at assessing successes and failures and also to improve performance management strategy towards achieving the national objective of transforming the country.
In his response the immediate past HOS, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali was full of gratitude to the President and also the Civil Service for the recognition accorded him. He used the opportunity to urge the Service to in one voice condemn acts that are negatively affecting its image. He particularly emphasised that there was no interference from the political leadership, during his tenure, appealing for same to the current leadership of the Service.
Alhaji Isa Bello Sali, who received an excellence award, retired on March, 23, 2013 after reaching the mandatory sixty years. He was sworn in as the HOS on Friday, 30 October, 2011 by President Jonathan.
The event was graced by the SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, members of the Federal Executive Council, past heads of service, serving and former permanent secretaries and several others.