The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on Friday provided reasons why the Orosanye White Paper Report has not been fully implemented almost two years after it was submitted.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday, the President disclosed that the public service remained the engine room of government, and should attract the ‘best and brightest’ that would fuel policies with fresh ideas, while assuring that the report will be implemented after a careful review.
‘I have directed that the Orosanye White Paper Report be subjected to immediate review to enable government take the most appropriate decision on its general recommendation,’ the president in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina told the Central Working Committee of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) at the State House.
‘I am aware that the review is about to be completed. While some may complain about the length of time it has taken thus far, the outcome of the various review teams would lead to some fundamental changes in the structure of our civil service and as such, it must be subjected to rigorous review and scrutiny before presentation and implementation,’ he added.
The president said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation would submit the harmonised white paper once it has been concluded.
He assured that the administration remained focused on strengthening the service and ensuring it helps the government fulfill its objectives.
The President also told the ASCSN that its request for restoration of the payment of gratuity to public service employees was one of the landmark provisions addressed in the 2004 Pension Reform Act.
‘Therefore, implementing your request for the payment of a bulk sum of gratuity to retired civil servants would negate the intent and provisions of the Act.
‘It should be acknowledged that a change in the implementation of the Act would require an amendment by the National Assembly. But more importantly, the Pension Reform Act is a better designed and robust system that allows for safety of pensioners funds and its payment,’ he said.
On the harmonisation of salary in the Public Service, Buhari said a Committee was set up for that purpose, under the Minister of Finance which was still working.
Buhari said the Head of Service of the Federation had been directed to liaise with other relevant government agencies to see how the 2023 budget estimates can accommodate an increase in the budget of the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board.