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ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari’s civil service exhortations. Two other talking points



President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, asserted that Nigeria’s civil service must not be seen as a dumping ground for job seekers.

We tracked two other stories that from the seat of power, Aso Rock, for your reading delight.

1. Buhari’s exhortations

On August 19, President Muhammadu Buhari harped on the need for the civil service to attract the best and brightest minds that would contribute fresh ideas towards solving the myriad of challenges haunting with the country.

The President said this when he received members of the Central Working Committee of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

Buhari noted that the service must never be seen as a dumping ground for jobless Nigerians, but affirmed his administration’s focus on strengthening the service to help the government fulfil its objectives.

The President’s exhortations, sadly, bring to fore the negative insinuations about deep-seated corruption, and pervasive incompetence among the crop of civil servants currently in service.

It also lends weight to claims that civil servants, especially those at the Federal level, have not done much to help the Buhari administration in implementing its policies, and programmes in a way that would benefit the generality of Nigerians.

It is, however, a no-brainer that the country needs to ensure a thorough scrutiny of the civil service, fish out the bad eggs among them, dismiss those underperforming, and set a standard that the system must meet.

If the President actually desires a drastic, and everlasting change in the civil service, he knows that mere rhetoric would not be enough. That said, the sad reality is that there might be little that he can do given that he has just a few months to vacate the presidency.

Two other talking points

2. Osinbajo’s preachments

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on August 19, stressed the role of State Governments in ensuring an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.

Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, made the remark during a virtual meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Committee (PEBEC), where a presentation of the State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER), programme was made.

“The States’ process is a very important one and I hope that we will be able to spend individually, especially in the States, a fair amount of time trying to work out how this will work in actual practice in our various States,” he said.

Read also: ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari’s call for population count. Two other talking points

Discussions on the way forward for Nigerian businesses to thrive have been on over the years, even more in the Buhari administration. It is rather disappointing, if not demoralising, that the discussions have not yielded much to their benefit.

Amidst the talks, the insecurity posed by terrorists, and bandits in different parts of the country have made several businesses to shut down, and other surviving ones are merely gasping for breath. Making the matter worse, some State Governments have indirectly thwarted the growth of most Medium, and Small Scale businesses via the proliferation of levies.

On the other hand, the Federal Government has, arguably, not done enough to ensure that a favourable business climate exists for business owners. The struggles of entrepreneurs, big or small, in Nigeria simply show that the government has more to do than it realizes.

3. Buhari’s fresh order on terrorists

President Buhari, on August 18, ordered the military to rid the country of Boko Haram insurgents and other criminals in different parts of the country.

According to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he gave the order on the occasion of the World Humanitarian Day, 2022, in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Commending the men and officers of Operation Lafiya Dole, Security Agencies and the Multinational Joint Task Force for the improvement of the security situation in North-East region, he said: “I, therefore, implore you not to relent in your efforts, continue to take the fight to their hideouts and ensure they are completely eliminated.”

Buhari’s commendation to the forces is lofty, while his charge is good for their morale. Beyond this, the President must see that all they need to continue the fight are provided. It would not be out-of-place for him, and the security chiefs to give a strong consideration to deploying non-kinetic measures in the war against the deadly terrorists.

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