Delta Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Monday, sworn in five new permanent secretaries in the state’s public service with a charge on them to lead by example and uphold commitment, accountability, fairness and versatility in the discharge of their duties.
At the ceremony in Asaba, the governor urged the permanent secretaries that as veterans in civil service and Chief Accounting Officers in their ministries, they should see their elevation as a call to higher responsibilities and challenges that would lead to maximum productivity in the state civil service.
He advised them to be acquainted with the Stronger Delta policies and programmes of his administration and pledged to continue to create an enabling environment for the civil service to thrive.
Okowa reminded the permanent secretaries of the need to cut waste and inefficiency in the service, and enforce discipline and due process in the rank and file so as to engender a new paradigm shift in the civil service.
“This is the third batch of permanent secretaries that this administration has appointed since 2015; the swearing-in of these five distinguished gentlemen brings the total number of permanent secretaries appointed by this administration to 25.
“We need them to fill existing vacancies created by the exit of those who have retired. It is imperative that we fill these vacancies for a strong and stable civil service, necessary for the implementation of government policies and programmes.
“The new permanent secretaries are persons with a broad-range of knowledge, experience and exposure that qualify them for the office.
“As veteran civil servants and accounting officers of your various ministries, you are expected to lead by example. You must show the way in terms of punctuality, prudence, accountability, fairness and commitment.
“Your conduct and performance – or lack of it – impact directly on the directive principles of state policies and government business,” he said.
The new permanent secretaries are Mr Daniel Momah, Mr Emmanuel Aghedo, Dr Moses Bragiwa, Mr Bennett Agamah and Mr Maxwell Awuse.
The governor also inaugurated a seven-member Public Procurement Council for the state, with a former Head of Service of the state,
Sir Okey Ofili, as Chairman, and disclosed that it was a core duty of the Council to ensure that all extant laws such as sign-off limits and other standardised regulations were complied with in the state.
He said that the Council, as an independent body, was a creation of Delta State Public Procurement Law 2020, adding that its establishment would among others, help to achieve the state fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability initiative of the World Bank.
Okowa pointed out that the Council would have an oversight function over the state’s Public Procurement Commission, and explained that it was the requirement of the World Bank that for all transactions of government should be credible and overseen by an independent body such as the Council.
“The Delta State Public Procurement Council is an independent body with oversight functions over the State Public Procurement Commission. There is no conflict here.
“While the Commission operationalises the provisions of the procurement law, it is the responsibility of the Council to ascertain that all extant laws such as sign-off limits and other standardised regulations are complied with by the Commission,” he said.
The governor congratulated the permanent secretaries and Chairman and members of the Public Procurement Council on their appointments, and urged them not to compromise the confidence reposed in them by the state government.
In separate responses, Mr. Daniel Momah, on behalf of the new permanent secretaries and Sir Okey Ofili for members of the Public Procurement Council, assured the governor that they would do their best in their assignments, adding they would make meaningful input in building a Stronger Delta.