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News: Sanwo-olu appoints 18 new permanent secretaries

A rigorous screening process held for more than 400 top administrators in the Lagos State civil service has culminated in the appointment of 18 new Permanent Secretaries who will be driving the development blueprint of the State Government.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday, swore in the successful candidates and assigned portfolios to them at a swearing-in held in the Banquet Hall of the State House, Alausa.

The Governor also inaugurated Lagos State Joint Revenue Committee (SJRC), which will implement the decisions of Joint Tax Board and harmonise tax administration in Lagos. The Committee is headed by chairman of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr. Ayo Subair.

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The competitive procedure of appointing the Permanent Secretaries set a new template for merit in the filling of the position. Sanwo-Olu set up a screening committee, comprising members of the State’s cabinet and the Office of the Head of Service, which assessed the candidates and gave recommendations.

This marks a departure from the old procedure in which a Governor would single-handedly pick unmerited civil servants in higher cadres.

The screening committee, chaired by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, recommended the appointment of the 18 successful civil servants for the Permanent Secretary positions out of 65 shortlisted after assessment.

Sanwo-Olu described the Permanent Secretary position as “the engine room” of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA), saying their roles as administrators remained strategic to the success of any administration.

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The screening process, the Governor said, was introduced to achieve a merit-based appointment by giving all eligible candidates an equal opportunity to vie for the position based on their knowledge, capacity, competence, and experience.

He said: “The role of Permanent Secretaries is crucial to the success of any administration. As drivers of the Government’s development agenda in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, we have no choice but to painstakingly embark on a merit-based exercise and appoint only permanent secretaries who share our vision, mission and drive.

“Given our Government’s commitment to excellent service delivery, we decided to put in place this competitive screening process for the emergence of new Permanent Secretaries.

I, therefore, congratulate the 18 newly sworn-in Permanent Secretaries and commend your contributions to the progress of the Lagos, especially the delivery of excellent Public Service. Your appointment is well-deserved and it is purely merit-based.”

The Governor said he personally followed the task of the selecting the new permanent secretaries based on his belief that there must be right synergy between members of the Executive and civil service to successfully deliver on the Government’s mandate to the people.

Before the appointees were finally picked, Sanwo-Olu had one-on-one interactions with the 65 shortlisted candidates presented to him for consideration by the screening committee.

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The Governor charged the new Permanent Secretaries to justify their appointments by collaborating with his administration to deliver outstanding service to the people.

Sanwo-Olu said Lagosians deserved the best in terms of governance, urging the appointees to give in their best to the service of the State. He expressed confidence in his administration’s ability to achieve its development programmes, stressing that the vision was hinged on the capacity, commitment and dedication of every member of the Government, including the Body of Permanent Secretaries.

He said: “The people of Lagos deserve the best and I demand the best from you. You must always remember that this is not a ceremonial role; to whom much is given, much is expected. As Permanent Secretaries and Accounting Officers of your MDAs, you have the responsibility of optimally managing the human and material resources in your care.

“Let me remind you that our social contract with Lagosians is embodied in the six-point T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, and the faultless implementation of this agenda should guide your actions. You will agree that our MDAs must be headed only by those who share our vision for a Greater Lagos and are ready to work hard to actualise that vision. The path might be rough and the road might not be smooth; indeed, I am convinced we have made the right choices in the appointment of the new Permanent Secretaries.”

Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, congratulated the appointees and expressed his confidence in their qualification for the position.

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He urged them to hit the ground running and bring their individual abilities to bear in adding value to the quality of policy development and implementation in the State Public Service.

Giving acceptance speech on behalf of the appointees, Dr. Mustafa Ibrahim Akinwunmi, Permanent Secretary of Primary Healthcare Board, noted that the new Permanent Secretaries were chosen among the best, thanking the Governor for the opportunity.

“We are ready to deploy our experience and expertise to bring your vision of Greater Lagos into the reality,” Dr. Mustafa assured Sanwo-Olu.

The Permanent Secretaries are Ayoola Iyabo Oyeyemi (Ministry of Finance); George Abosede Oluwakemi (Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment); Hundogan Sewanu Temitope (Audit Service Commission); Mrs. Kosegbe Abiola (Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development); Onayele Augustine Abiodun (Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions); Adedoyin-Ajayi Adenike (Ministry of Tourism); Sangowanwa Olutomi Ajose (Surveyor General, Ministry of Lands), Oduguwa Olusola (Central Internal Audit).

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Olajide Charles Adeboye (PS and Tutor General of Education District IV); Machado-Onanuga Toyin Olamide (Teaching Service Commission); Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen (Ministry of Special Duties); Olowoshago Kamar Owodiran (Ministry of Transportation); Simone Olayinka Fashola (Ministry of Science and Technology); Daba Mobolaji Mojisola (Local Government Service Commission); Oshodi Salimot Tolani (Cabinet Office), Kasali Adeniran Waheed (Office of Special Adviser on Education) and Shasore Sholabomi Mosunmola (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources).

Also, other members of the State’s Joint Revenue Committee: Mr Akinkunmi Alaja-Browne; Mrs Rashidat Omolola Essien; Barrister Alade Seyi Femi; Mr Olusegun Ogungbemide (Commander of FRSC, Lagos), Mr Razaak Amodu and Dr. Olusegun Adekunle Wright.

Vivian Omotori

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