Buhari Honours Civil Servant for Saving Nigeria N90bn on Ajaokuta Deal

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has conferred the Presidential Merit Award on a civil servant, Umar Adamu Tsoho, whose refusal to cooperate with some contractors in suppressing vital information with promises of huge gratification saved the country the loss of N90 billion on the Ajaokuta steel project.

Umar was one of the 10 officers who received the Presidential Public Service Merit Award yesterday, at the 2022 Civil Service Day Commemoration held at Abuja, for demonstrating high level of commitment and dedication to duty.

The steel officer, who was on the sub-committee on Ajaokuta Project Presidential Implementation Committee, which dealt with the liabilities of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited was honoured for considering the interest of the Ministry of Mines and the ethics of service by presenting DMO Bond Settlement Letters to the Sub-Committee which saved the country the huge loss. The federal government said his action supported the anti-corruption crusade of the president.

Another awardee, Mrs. Cordelia Otuya, who is the Chief Legal Officer, Ministry of Education, was said to have successfully obtained over 50 court judgments in favour of the ministry with two of such judgements saving the ministry the payment of judgement debts amounting to N1.5 billion respectively.

The president also said his administration was working towards improving the value proposition of the civil service by setting up the Presidential Committee on salaries to harmonise salaries service-wide.
The president, who was represented by the FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello, expressed hope that the outcome of the committee’s work would provide the impetus for an upward review of the salaries of deserving civil servants, with the recent increase of the duty tour allowance of all civil servants as a starting point.

He also launched the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 that was approved by the Federal Executive Council in December, 2021 and a Culture Change Video.

He said the Plan was in response to his directive to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to institutionalise performance management in the service, adding the federal government would spare no effort aimed at improving the competencies of officers in the civil service through training and re-training of staff.

The president said joining to celebrate the Year 2022 Civil Service Day was to demonstrate his association with the on-going efforts to return the Nigerian civil service to its pride of place in delivering efficient and effective services to the Nigerian citizenry.

He, however, lamented the civil service which was once strong and formidable had begun to lose its relevance in the country.