Days after President Bola Tinubu swore in 45 ministers who will work in his cabinet, some of them who were appointed to head newly created ministries will have to work without physical offices and government officials assigned to them, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
Some of the new ministries were created from old and existing ones.
For instance, the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, which is currently headed by Gboyega Oyetola, emerged from the Ministry of Transportation currently headed by Said Alkali.
Though the two ministers were sworn in on Monday, Oyetola resumed at the Ministry of Transportation immediately while Alkali resumed at the same ministry on Tuesday.
Sources at the ministry confirmed to our correspondent that the reason why Oyetola came to the ministry on Monday and Alkali on Tuesday may not be unconnected with the fact that the two ministers may have to share the same set of directors and permanent secretary, pending the time that a full restructure took place.
“When some directors introduced themselves to the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, they did not know whether they should introduce themselves as directors under the Ministry of Transport or Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy,” one of the sources at the ministry said.
At the former Ministry of Information and Culture, from which the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, led by Muhammed Idris; the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, led by Hannatu Musawa; and the Ministry of Tourism, headed by Lola Ade-John, were created, our correspondent learnt that the three ministers visited the ministry at the same time on Monday and addressed journalists together.
It was also gathered that as of Friday, civil servants in the ministry were still confused about the minister to report to.
Though sources within the ministry noted that there were departments that could easily be connected to a particular ministry, our correspondent learnt that the new ministries would need directors specifically tailored to their needs.
It was further gathered that the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake and his steel development counterpart, Shuaibu Audu, will continue to work with the same set of civil servants until a full restructure is carried out.
Meanwhile, our correspondent gathered that the Federal Government, through the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, has commenced the process for the appointment of new permanent secretaries to fill new and existing vacancies in the civil service.
In a memo dated August 21, 2023, and signed by the Head of Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan, it was stated that the recruitment process commenced following the approval of the President for the appointment of permanent secretaries in the federal civil service was in respect of existing vacancies for Bauchi State and the North-East geopolitical zone whose permanent secretaries had retired and impending vacancies for Ebonyi, Niger, Oyo, Katsina, Kogi State and the North-Central geo-political zone whose permanent secretaries would retire on or before December 31, 2023.
“Consequently, officers in the mainstream federal civil service who meet the following conditions are eligible to participate in the exercise: have attained the position of substantive director on Salary Grade Level 17 on or before January 1, 2021, have updated their records on the IPPIS verification portal, are from the states listed in paragraph one above, and are not retiring from service earlier than December 31, 2025. Officers undergoing disciplinary procedures are, however, excluded from the exercise,” it added.
Efforts to get the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, to speak on the physical offices of the new ministers proved abortive.